Cyprus Mulls New Deal With US Energy Company Over Gas Field

FILE - In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 children play on a beach with a drilling platform seen in the background, on the outskirts of Larnaca port, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias/File)

With oil prices rising again, Cyprus’ government is considering trying to redo a deal with Houston-based Noble Energy over the operation of the Aphrodite 4.5 trillion cubic foot gas field discovered in 2011.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that President Nicos Anastasiades may bring the issue before the Cabinet to discuss whether to change the terms of the initial contract, the Cyprus Mail said.

“Despite challenges or obstacles some people attempt to raise, we are now at a point that decisions of strategic importance have to be taken,” he said without giving any details.

Aphrodite lies in block 12 of Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), part of which Turkey doesn’t recognize, sending warships six months ago to keep the Italian company Eni from looking for oil and gas where it was licensed.

Noble heads a consortium with Israel’s Delek and Britain’s BG (British Gas), a subsidiary of Shell and the Aphrodite field, under another deal, will linked with Egyptian liquefaction plants via a pipeline, expected to be signed this autumn.

A second look at the Noble deal comes weeks before an ExxonMobil – Qatar Petroleum consortium begins drilling for gas in block 10 of Cyprus’s EEZ.

Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis is expected to reveal details over the decisions that the cabinet will take, Prodromou said.