The intergovernmental agreement signed between Egypt and Cyprus for Aphrodite gas field resulted to great interest from International Oil Companies, down streamers and financial institutions, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt Tarek El-Molla told Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
In an interview with CNA, the Egyptian Minister said that after the important umbrella agreement for building a gas pipeline between the two countries, discussions are now taking place to accelerate the process after completing the constitutional and legal procedures at each country, which should then be followed by a commercial agreement for the project.
The Minister also stressed the multiple benefits for Cyprus from cooperating with Egypt in the framework of the recently established Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF). As he said, Cyprus could benefit from EMGF by quick monetization of its current reserves, potential increase in future discoveries and integration with other parties in the value chain, opening new opportunities of cooperation and stable technical and commercial cooperation.
Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Palestine participate in the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, which is based in Egypt and its objective is the optimal joint exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
El-Molla also referred to the political benefits from such a cooperation, saying that the discussion on gas matters could be a start for further resolutions of other conflicts and sent the message to the world that the region is a “safe and secure environment for investment”.
He also expressed the view that Egypt is “the most ready option with the least risk” for gas supply of Europe, due to the good political relations with everyone and the new business environment in Egypt.
Pointing out that Egypt is the best option both economically and politically for all East Med Gas to access potential markets, El-Molla said that the existing LNG facilities and infrastructure give Egypt a competitive edge, making it the most economic option. As for the option of East Med pipeline between Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Italy, he said that the feasibility study for the project would take up to 2 years, “which in itself is a luxury the region can’t afford anymore”.
The Mister also described the new business environment in Egypt for oil and gas sector, after the discovery and development of the Zohr field, which as he said showcases “how business is done nowadays in Egypt”.