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Cabinet appoints natural gas negotiating team

August 21, 2018 at 5:25pm
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Cabinet on Tuesday appointed a team to renegotiate a contract between the Republic of Cyprus and the Noble-Delek-Shell consortium, on how to share potential profits from developing the “Aphrodite” reservoir, located in block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ.

Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said that the consortium had informed the government at the end of December 2017 that it had reached a provisional agreement to sell natural gas to a Shell  LNG refinery in Egypt but because of falling prices made the project unviable, they wanted a revision of the agreement.

“We examined all our options and decided that the best option was to find a mutually agreed solution with the consortium so that the development of the Aphrodite field can start the soonest possible,” the minister said.

He said political parties have been briefed while the government has committed to discuss the issue with them again if the negotiations progress and before an agreement is reached.

The negotiating team will be made up of the Energy and Finance Ministers and advisers from the Energy Ministry, the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company and the Legal Service, and any other expert who may be required.

Asked if there was a timeline, he said that the government would like an agreement as soon as possible. Based on the current plan, first sales — and therefore revenue — are projected for 2022.