Tristan Aspray, director of frontier exploration at ExxonMobil, issued an appeal on Wednesday for the Eastern Mediterranean countries to provide the appropriate degree of assistance in order to expand natural gas production from local gas reserves, including those in Cyprus.
Asprey said that because new offshore discoveries in Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt are relatively small and in deep water, billions of dollars are required to exploit them. His remarks came during a panel discussion on energy supply and security in Europe held during the Annual Economist Summit in Nicosia.
"In order to do something like this, and to subsequently strengthen the supply of energy from the Eastern Mediterranean, support from the governments will be needed, with favourable terms and assurance of demand," Aspray added.
According to Aspray, the Eastern Mediterranean has recently succeeded in establishing itself as a source of energy, producing fuel for both local use and the provision of energy to Europe. This is especially true for natural gas, whose output has greatly expanded.
Aspray stated that the region is also becoming more crucial for ExxonMobil in light of recent finds as well as the company's promising operations in Blocks 10 and 5 of the Cyprus EEZ.
According to Aspray, the Eastern Mediterranean is become increasingly significant in light of the current energy concerns.
He said, "Natural gas will continue to play an important role in the green transition due to reduced pollutants compared to other fuels, as a transition fuel in combination with renewable energy sources, and for its role in the development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel."
Natasa Pilides, the energy minister for Cyprus, who was also a panelist, said that the possibility of using a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) in Cyprus has already been discussed with the relevant companies and the European Commissioner for energy, and she expressed the hope that the economic data will support this notion.
She said that block 6's results are crucial because they will demonstrate whether any extra amounts are present.
The minister said that Cyprus is putting into practice a multidimensional energy policy, the major goals of which are to improve the security of the country's energy supply, end energy isolation, and run a competitive domestic electricity market and domestic natural gas market.
According to Pilides, "new technologies are also being promoted and the reduction of energy costs for households, businesses and public bodies is being pursued sought, among other things, by providing incentives for green investments."
Pilides referred to the "EuroAsia Interconnector" when he said that the flagship project's execution was about to start after years of hard work and close coordination between the State and the implementing agency.
In the first half of 2028, she added, "the project is expected to connect Europe with the Middle East and finally end the energy isolation of Cyprus."
She said, alluding to a policy intended to encourage EU nations to interconnect their installed energy generation capacity: "The operation of the “EuroAsia Interconnector” is also crucial to the EU’sinterconnection target of at least 15 per cent by 2030."
Pilides also discussed the recent East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), which was held in Nicosia the previous week.
The necessity for collaborative and well-coordinated activities, as well as making the most of any potential synergies, can expedite the delivery of gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe at a time when it is desperately needed, according to the minister.
She went on to say that the EU Energy Commissioner held separate talks the day before with the businesses who operate in Cyprus' EEZ for this reason.
According to Pilides, "President Anastasiades has emphasised the government’s readiness to examine the possibilities and proposals for the connection of various natural gas fields in Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, and in the coming days also in Lebanon, either with existing or with newly built infrastructure, through which the gas can be exported to Europe."
By fLEXI tEAM