In a bid to become a major exporting energy hub in the Southeastern Mediterranean, Cyprus will press ahead with the construction of an export LNG terminal, said Cypriot Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis.
"The verified discoveries by Noble Energy International of significant quantities of natural gas in block 12 within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone is an important step towards materialising our goals", the minister stated at The Eastern Mediterranean Today, Security, Political and Economic Dynamics conference.
Eni/Kogas and Total will continue to explore wells in the area in the second quarter of 2014.
Lakkotrypis said that the government’s target of becoming a centre for energy in the region was ‘non-negotiable’. The creation of an LNG terminal represents one of five major government incentives, which include placing a significant economic emphasis on hydrocarbons and boosting investment through supportive services to EEZ activities.
The news that new offshore discoveries in neighboring countries are due to be utilised, coupled with an wealth of hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus itself “may turn the Southeastern Mediterranean area into a credible source for Europe”, Lakkotrypis said.
Lakkotrypis drew attention to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed last year between neighboring countries Cyprus, Greece and Israel, which pertained to mutual agreement over environmental issues and the possibility of an underwater energy cable interlocked between the countries, which, he said, would reduce both the cost of energy and the danger of energy isolationism.
The minister urged “swift” and “bold” action between the countries’ governments, in order to make the region a “secure and credible energy source” for regional and European markets.
Edited from various sources by Ted Monroe
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