Synergies are the “magic word” when it comes to the development of natural gas resources in the region, said Energy Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou, at a natural gas conference held in Limassol.< /p>
Speaking during the Eastern Mediterranean energy conference, Mr. Papanastasiou said that as the energy transition emphasizes renewable energy sources, energy companies are looking for faster returns on their investments and are making similar investments.
“Today with the shorter lifetime of natural gas due to renewable energy targets we understand that synergies are what investors should be looking for,” added the Minister.
Mr. Papanastasiou presented the “Gas to Power” plan, a Cypriot plan which includes actions shaping the energy mix of Cyprus. As he noted, liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be imported to generate energy for the domestic market through the Public Natural Gas Company (DEFA), while Cyprus will increase renewable energy, which could be exported through the EuroAsia Interconnector that connects Cyprus, Greece and Israel.
Regarding natural gas discoveries in Cyprus, he said the option is to transport it to Egypt either for its internal demand or for liquefaction and export to markets, while options such as import to Cyprus and liquefaction and export through small pipelines remain on the table. units of liquefied natural gas.
In addition, Mr. Papanastasiou said that Cyprus cannot become an energy hub for the region, as it does not have the necessary infrastructure compared to the neighboring states of Israel and Egypt.
“I think that given their track record, Egypt and Israel are far ahead in natural gas resources and because of the infrastructure that is already in place,” she noted.
For her part, US Assistant Secretary of State at the energy office Kimberly Harrington said that “despite the difficult times we are living in, the US remains steadfastly committed to regional cooperation, particularly in the energy sector.”
He also highlighted initiatives such as the 3+1 dialogue between Israel, of Greece and Cyprus with the USA, as well as the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF).
“Energy partnership and regional energy integration is key and really no place embodies that more than the Eastern Mediterranean,” he stressed, adding that huge progress has been made in the last decade and that he looks forward to even more.
Referring to Cyprus, she said that the development of the island's natural resources will benefit both Cyprus and the region, noting that the “fundamental goal of the US is energy security and cooperation in the region”.
Wissam Tsbat, board member and former chairman of the Lebanese Petroleum Authority, said he hopes not only to find natural gas reserves in Lebanon, but also to find reserves that could be exploited commercially.
Noting that Lebanon has very good relations with Cyprus and Egypt, Mr. Tsbat stated that Egypt has the characteristics required to be a hub for the Eastern Mediterranean.
Furthermore, opening the conference, Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company President Toula Onoufriou, who advises the government on gas issues, said Cyprus has estimated reserves of 15 trillion cubic feet in five natural gas discoveries in its EEZ.
Describing the development of natural gas in the Cyprus EEZ, Ms. Onoufriou said that four discoveries namely Calypso, Kronos and Dias, all in Block 6, and Glaukos in Block 10 are in the evaluation process, while Aphrodite in Block 12 is in “select” stage, i.e. in the process of choosing a way of commercial exploitation.
“The quality of decision-making in the evaluation and selection stages is of the utmost importance and the Ministry of Energy with the support of the Hydrocarbons Company has a critical role in understanding, influencing and supporting the decisions of investors at these critical stages”, he emphasized.