Cyprus and Egypt on Wednesday signed an agreement paving the way for the Mediterranean’s first subsea pipeline to carry Cypriot natural gas to Egypt for re-export to Europe.
“Today’s signing is an important milestone, not only for Cyprus but also the entire eastern Mediterranean region,” Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said during a visit to Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek el-Molla.
He said the agreement was “the first of its kind in our shared region.”
The deal is crucial for channeling gas from the island’s “Aphrodite” offshore field to Egypt and to attract multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investments.
The agreement is meant to facilitate the construction of a pipeline from Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field — estimated to contain around 4.5 trillion cubic feet (130bn cubic meters) of gas — onto Egyptian shores and then to the LNG facility in Idku.
It can also apply to other gas fields that may be discovered off the island in the future excluding matters of pricing.
Texas-based Noble Energy in 2011 made the first discovery off Cyprus in the Aphrodite block estimated to contain 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas but it has yet to be extracted.