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U.S. oil and gas giant Chevron is looking to explore for natural gas off the coasts of Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel as the region's energy demands grow.
In a lease tender issued on Monday, the company is seeking a drilling vessel for 2024 with an option to extend its use for several years.
Chevron already operates in these three eastern Mediterranean countries and remains committed to working with their respective governments and partners to support the growth of the region's energy sector.
The Eastern Mediterranean boasts abundant energy resources that have the potential to enhance energy security both regionally and internationally.
The move comes as energy companies look to capitalize on Europe's fresh demand as it diversifies its gas supplies away from Russia.
Chevron's immediate goal is to expedite the development of the Aphrodite gas field near Cyprus. The field could contain as much as 4.5 trillion cubic meters (tcf) of gas.
Aside from Aphrodite, Chevron also operates the giant Leviathan field offshore Israel, producing 12 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas.
Chevron and its Leviathan partners NewMed Energy and Ratio Energies aim to nearly double the Leviathan field's production to 21-24 bcm by 2027. They are also considering constructing a floating liquefied natural gas facility to export the fuel to different international markets, including Europe.
Earlier this year, Chevron and another partner, Eni, announced they had discovered a gas deposit in the Nargis offshore concession in Egypt that they would like to explore further.
Chevron became a significant gas producer in the East Med basin in 2020 following the $5 billion acquisition of Noble Energy. The company's lease tender for a drilling vessel indicates a concerted commitment to this market as it seeks to augment its supply of energy resources.
Chevron's continued exploration in the region will support the Mediterranean's booming natural gas sector, and help bolster the energy security of the region at large.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,