LNG terminal in Cairo talks?
The issue of future Cyprus natural gas exports being piped to a liquefaction plant in Egypt will probably top the agenda of the minisummit in Cairo on Saturday, following confirmation by the leading exploration company in the area that output from offshore gasfields cannot satisfy a land-based terminal on the island.
John Tomich General Manager Cyprus of Noble Energy, operator of the Aphrodide gasfield in the Cyprus exclusive economic zone (EEZ), told the Economist Conference in Nicosia that “LNG requires a lot of gas and is very expensive, it is probably the most expensive option.”.
Right now, he said, “we don’t have enough gas in our opinion to undertake such a project so we are looking at the rest of the projects including floating LNG, CNG (compressed natural gas), and then the things that look the most compelling right now are regional pipelines”. Although Noble has signed an MoU to explore the idea of a land-based liquefied natural gas plant, Tomich has on several occasions in the past suggested the pipeline route as a more viable prospect for Cyprus, which, in any case, cannot be produced before 2019 at the earliest or 2020.
Tomich told the Economist conference that “there is a good probability in our opinion that there will be more gas found in Cyprus both by us and by other operators”.
He remarked that if a project is executed on time and within budget “you maximise the chance of coming out with a successful project”.
Tomich also said that additional drilling in 2015.
Italian-Korean joint venture ENI-Kogas is already drilling its first exploration well, while French Total is expected to follow in early 2015.