The “Aphrodite” gas field is being developed as planned, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Monday. He added that a special agreement with Israel, regarding the regulation of the rights on the “Yishai” and “Aphrodite” reservoirs, is not a precondition for the development of the Cypriot gas field.
Lakkotrypis was speaking in Nicosia, before attending the Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Chamber Of Commerce and Industry. Asked about a report in Israeli Globes and a subsequent announcement issued by the Israeli Embassy in Cyprus, the Minister said that the announcement reflects the position of the Israeli side, as conveyed during negotiations that are being held for some time now.
“The regulation of the rights on the “Yishai” and “Aphrodite” reservoirs, is not a precondition for the development of the Cypriot gas field.”
For the Cypriot side “the development of the ‘Aphrodite’ reservoir advances normally, as planned” the Minister added.
He said that with regard to the special agreement, there is an established process that is being followed for some time now and is continuing.
“The most important thing I want to stress is that these two things, the development of ‘Aphrodite’ and the established process for the special agreement are not connected as far as the Cypriot side is concerned,” said Lakkotrypis.
Asked if companies involved in the development of the Aphrodite gas filed are affected in any way, Lakkotrypis said that the issue of the special agreement is known for a long time “however we proceeded to conclude the agreements in November.”
Last November, Cyprus and the Aphrodite consortium signed an exploitation license and a revised production sharing contract, aiming to start natural gas production in 2025.
“As the Republic of Cyprus, we would certainly prefer to have this framework in place, to govern the operation, but I must stress that this is not a precondition to continue with the development of Aphrodite” the Minister noted.
He said that the announcement of the Israeli Embassy reflects the position of the Israeli side, which the Republic of Cyprus does not adopt.
“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,” the Minister of Energy said. He added that with or without an agreement in place, no side will abolish their rights.
“The Republic of Cyprus will certainly compensate the Israel side accordingly.”
Lakkotrypis said finally that the established process continues, with the two sides exchanging positions, while Cyprus will send again its positions soon.
According to Globes, Israeli Energy Ministry Director-General Udi Adiri told Shell, Noble Energy, and Delek Drilling that they cannot develop the Cypriot reservoir until the border dispute with Israel’s Yishai license is settled.
An announcement by the Israeli Embassy in Cyprus said moreover that the letter of the Director-General of the Ministry of Energy to the consortium companies in the “Aphrodite” reservoir, reflects Israel`s position as presented in the talks between the two countries.
The Government of Israel will be pleased, at any time, to continue the negotiations with the Government of Cyprus, on the issue of regulating the rights on the “Yishai” and “Aphrodite” reservoirs, as has also been conveyed to the Cypriot side on several occasions, the announcement notes.