Minister of Energy satisfied with Washington meetings

Minister of Energy satisfied with Washington meetings

Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry & Tourism George Lakkotrypis, has said he is satisfied so far from his contacts in Washington, noting that next week there is an imminent agreement with oil & gas giant Total to extend the geological seismic surveys, without however, any drilling.

Lakkotrypis, who is currently in the US, outlined his Monday meetings, describing them as very important, starting with the German Marshall Fund, followed by the meeting with Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs leading the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) at the US State Department, Amos Hochstein, briefing Congressional Staffers on Energy developments in Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean as well as his speech at the Atlantic Council followed by dinner with important Washington personalities.

He said the atmosphere at all his meetings was positive.

“We have explained how we proceed and the collaboration we are trying to promote mainly between Cyprus, Egypt and Israel for natural gas”, he added.

Asked how the fall in oil prices internationally would affect the use of Cyprus` energy reserves, the Minister said that the first revenue will come in the coming years and will not be immediate.

Lakkotrypis said the price which Cyprus will sell the gas at will be tied to the price of Brent crude oil, so if the income comes in the years ahead, one should look at the forecasts of oil prices. There is of course, he added, the issue of investment companies, “but if projects like the ones we are currently debating are viable and competitive, investment should not be an issue.”

Asked how these efforts are impeded by threats and tension created by Turkey, Lakkotrypis said that he had informed his interlocutors about Turkish violations and the reasons which have led President Nicos Anastasiades suspend his participation in the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement.

Lakkotrypis expressed the hope that the talks will resume the soonest, under the proper preconditions. He also said that none of his interlocutors had said there would be no investment as long as a solution to the Cyprus issue and the Turkish threats are pending.

The Cypriot Minister will meet with the leadership of Noble Energy to discuss issues pertaining to the development and exploitation of the natural gas field in block 12 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

In late 2011 Noble Energy announced a discovery offshore Cyprus with estimated gross mean resources of 5 Tcf, and is currently studying options for development. In 2015, it anticipates a deep oil test in the Levant Basin.

Responding to a question, Lakkotrypis confirmed that next week there will be an agreement with TOTAL company to extend the geological seismic surveys.

“Essentially (the agreement) is locked and tomorrow we expect a report from the Cabinet for the agreement to proceed with the company,” he concluded.

Today`s programme also included meetings with the leadership of the American-Israeli Committee (AIPAC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

Cyprus is currently developing natural resources discovered within its EEZ, and several international companies are involved in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities.

Exploration and appraisal drilling in “Aphrodite”, in block 12 by Noble Energy and Delek has shown estimated reserves of 3.6 Tcf to 6 Tcf, namely 5 Tcf.

CNA/AZ/EC/MM/2015
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY