In a significant development, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou has expressed high optimism about the ongoing discussions between the Cypriot government and Chevron regarding the Aphrodite gas field in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Papanastasiou conveyed confidence that a mutually accepted plan would be reached, emphasizing the progress made through consultations and the understanding of each other's positions.
While acknowledging that certain correspondences need to be formalized, Papanastasiou outlined the Republic of Cyprus's intention to collaborate closely with the consortium, primarily represented by Chevron. The goal is to move forward with meticulous planning for the utilization and development of the Aphrodite gas field. He noted that discussions are underway to ensure both parties are on the same page, fostering a positive direction for the project.
"The Republic of Cyprus' intention is to further listen to the consortium, essentially represented by Chevron as the managing company of the field. We have already conveyed what we would like to see through the utilization and development of this specific field, so that both parties are on the same page, allowing them to move forward with proper planning," Papanastasiou explained.
Regarding the timeline for reaching an agreement, Papanastasiou clarified that while certain correspondences outlined in the contract need to be put in writing, these are not final. He highlighted the nature of consultations, where technical committees engage in discussions, exchange opinions, find common ground, and move forward. When pressed on the timeline for a final resolution, he reiterated that the timelines are as per the 2019 plan and remain unchanged.
"As you know, in consultations, technical committees sit down, exchange opinions, find common ground, and move forward," he explained. "Following this, taking into account the milestones, with the next significant one being the consortium's final investment decision, natural gas should start being extracted by approximately 2027 or 2028," he added.
The minister's comments come amid discussions between President Nikos Christodoulides and energy company ENI in Italy. Papanastasiou mentioned awaiting the findings of 'Kronos 2,' a confirmatory drilling taking place in the southwest cluster of the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone. The outcomes of this drilling are expected to play a crucial role in shaping the next steps for the energy project.
"We believe that what has been collected in that area is enough to justify either an initial direction towards Egypt for liquefaction purposes or infrastructure creation towards Cyprus for liquefaction and use in power generation in Cyprus," he explained. "So, we will await the findings of 'Kronos 2', as well as for the actions suggested by the companies within that cluster of fields, and we will act accordingly," Papanastasiou added.
On the topic of reducing energy costs for households, the minister outlined plans for households to become self-sufficient. The focus is on promoting the installation of photovoltaics in every home, enabling self-generation and self-consumption. This approach aims to reduce the burden on the grid, with future plans including the installation of batteries in properties for efficient energy management.
"Based on our planning, we want households to be self-sufficient, and that’s why we are promoting the idea of photovoltaics in every home," Papanastasiou stated. "However, as you know, energy is not a magic wand; we need to plan and decide on the direction. Following this, taking into account the milestones, with the next significant one being the consortium's final investment decision, natural gas should start being extracted by approximately 2027 or 2028," he concluded.
In summary, the positive outlook expressed by Energy Minister George Papanastasiou reflects the collaborative efforts between the Cypriot government and Chevron in shaping the future of the Aphrodite gas field. With an anticipated extraction timeline of 2027-2028, the project's progress aligns with existing plans, and ongoing discussions and confirmatory drilling are poised to play pivotal roles in the project's trajectory.
By fLEXI tEAM