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Cyprus To Continue Gas Field Development Despite Israel’s Objection

Cyprus will proceed with the development of a natural gas field in Cypriot waters in the Mediterranean despite the fact that Israel has advised the field’s developers not to begin work until a dispute over cross-border reserves is settled, the energy minister of Cyprus, Georgios Lakkotrypis, told S&P Global Platts.

Cyprus, which has ambitions to develop its offshore natural gas resources, will proceed with the development of the Aphrodite gas field as planned, the minister told S&P Global Platts.

Cyprus and the partners developing the Aphrodite field—Noble Energy, Shell, and Delek Drilling—signed in November amended terms of the production sharing contract (PSC) with the government of Cyprus and the partners were granted an exploitation license for the block. If everything goes to plan, “supply of natural gas from the Aphrodite Reservoir may occur during 2025,” Delek Drilling said in early November.

However, Israel sent later in November a letter to the top executives at the three companies, advising the firms that Israel is not giving up its rights to the reserves at Aphrodite, which extend into the Yishai block in Israeli waters.

“I also wish to advise you of the position of the State of Israel that the development and exploitation of the Aphrodite-Yishai field by the licensees of both states must not commence prior to reaching an agreement between the governments of Israel and Cyprus,” Udi Adiri, director general of Israel’s Ministry of Energy, wrote in the letter, as carried by Israel business news outlet Globes

“Our position is clear and it is reflected in the following: Either with, or without an agreement, if it is proven that there is natural gas on the Israeli side which is pumped out by our side, the Republic of Cyprus will certainly compensate the Israel side accordingly,” minister Lakkotrypis said, according to Cypriot outlet Gold News.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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