Israeli Delek interested in Cyprus’ gas facility

Israeli Delek interested in Cyprus’ gas facility

NICOSIA - The Associated Press
Greek Cyprus’s Energy Minister, Georgios Lakkotrypis, has said that Israeli energy firm Delek is looking to take part in the development of a gas processing facility on the island – a major project the Greek Cypriot government is hoping will bolster its shaken economy.

Lakkotrypis said that senior Delek officials yesterday held talks with the Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

Delek and subsidiary Avner Oil exploration hold a 30 percent stake in a gas field off the southern coast of Cyprus that is estimated to contain 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet of gas. Texas-based Noble Energy holds the other 70 percent.

Gideon Tadmor, Delek Drilling Chairman, said he was hopeful for “a long-lasting cooperation between their company, the state of Israel and Cyprus.”

Noble Energy was the first to drill when awarded Block 12 after Greek Cyprus launched its energy search in 2007. In December 2011, Noble said it had discovered gas reserves of up to 8 trillion cubic feet (226.5 billion cubic meters), with an estimated value of 100 billion euros. 

Greek Cyprus has licensed other oil and gas companies including Italy’s ENI, France’s Total and South Korea’s Kogas.

Turkey does not recognize the Greek government there as representing the Turks in the north and blacklists the companies which cooperate with Greek Cypriots, as long as they do not officially pay the share of Turks on the island. Italian oil company Eni is an example of that.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said in March that the resources around the island belong to all people that live on the island in the framework of international law. 

“Israeli officials, local officials in Greek Cyprus and representatives of the TRNC [Turkish Republic of the Northern Cyprus], they have all agreed on one reality: The natural gas to be produced from this region will get its utmost feasibility by a pipeline that will pass through Turkey. All relevant figures prove this idea,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told the Hürriyet Daily News in a comprehensive interview at the end of May, outlining the Turkish government’s energy policies regarding the oil and gas reserves of its southern neighbors.