With an estimated 40 trillion cubic feet (tgf) of liquid natural gas (LNG) contained in its contracted exclusive economic zone (EEZ) Cyprus hopes to establish itself as an energy hub for the eastern Mediterranean, its primary export market being Europe.
The government of Cyprus has at last advanced its plan to build an LNG facility at Vassilikos on the island’s southern coast: a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on June 26 between the Cypriot government and Houston-based Noble Energy International, Israel’s Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, the partners in offshore Block 12 where around 198 billion cubic metres of natural gas were discovered by Noble in 2011.
The Vassilikos facility will initially process gas from the Aphrodite field, says the Cyprus Ministry of Energy, and will be designed with capacity to accommodate additional natural gas discovered in the EEZ, and potentially in neighbouring countries too. The partners have set a target to sign the Cyprus LNG Project Agreement by the end of this year. Based on this the Ministry says the first LNG could be shipped from Vassilikos late in 2019 or early in 2020.