After much negotiation, Egypt and Cyprus on Sept. 19 signed an agreement to build an underwater pipeline to export natural gas to Egypt from Cyprus’ Aphrodite field that contains some 4.5 trillion cubic feet of fuel.
The deal was signed at the Presidential palace by Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Egypt’s Oil Minister Tarek el-Molla, the Cyprus Mail said.
Lakkotrypis said the line would go through the countries Exclusive Economic Zones although Turkey, which has warships off Cyprus trying to prevent foreign companies from drilling for oil and gas, doesn’t recognize parts of Cyprus’ EEZ.
The pipeline will go Egyptian shores and then to the LNG facility in Idku but the prices will be set by the companies owning Aphrodite, Noble Energy, Delek, Shell, which have demanded the contract terms be revised, to which the government agreed.
Lakkotrypis said the signing was a landmark for the entire region and not just Cyprus. “It constitutes one more critical step for our country towards the effective exploitation of undersea wealth in the Cypriot EEZ to benefit all Cypriots,” he said.
“Ultimately, through reexporting gas from Aphrodite in the form of LNG, the pipeline will enable the transport of the first quantities of natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to the EU,” he added.
El-Molla said that, “The energy reserves in the Mediterranean basin can act as a catalyst for further co-operation in the area,” and further links.
The Head of International Relations & Enlargement at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, Anne-Charlotte Bournoville said natural gas finds and deals could bring even more economic benefits to the region.