Natural Gas Europe interviews Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative Director David Koranyi on the challenges facing Cyprus in gas production following an Atlantic Council event on the topic:
The Atlantic Council hosted a public event on 9 March 2015 focused on the natural gas developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the challenges that Cyprus may face in its path towards gas production.The event featured the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism of the Republic of Cyprus, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, who delivered a keynote speech. The discussion was moderated by the Atlantic Council’s Eurasian Energy Future Initiative Director David Koranyi. Natural Gas Europe had the pleasure to speak with David Koranyi for insights on the main takeaways of the meeting.
Minister Lakkotrypis’ remarks at the event revealed a change of priority regarding Cyprus’ export strategy. Koranyi explained that Minister Lakkotrypis stressed on the high probability of exporting Cypriot gas to neighbouring Egypt and using Egypt’s unused export terminals to access far-reaching markets. Lakkotrypis also announced a Gulf interest to finance the pipeline that would carry the gas from the Aphrodite field offshore Cyprus to Egypt. Koranyi told Natural Gas Europe that the onshore LNG terminal project seems off the agenda for Cyprus due to the hitherto modest quantities of gas discovered in Cypriot waters. The Egyptian option is technically feasible and makes commercial sense for Cyprus, added Koranyi. The regulatory hurdles that Israel is facing also put Cyprus at an advantage in its negotiations with the Egyptians. The potential delays in the development of the Leviathan due to an ongoing dispute between the partners in the Leviathan and Israel’s Antitrust Authority may prompt Egypt to look for alternative suppliers in the region, such as Cyprus.