17 March 2015, News Wires – Noble Energy is closing in on declaring its Aphrodite gas discovery off Cyprus commercially viable, according to a report.
The US independent may make a declaration within weeks, Reuters cited Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis as telling reporters on Tuesday.
“This is very important for Cyprus because it will be the first time we go beyond the phase of hydrocarbons exploration to development and exploitation,” the news wire quoted him as saying after a meeting with Noble executives and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
“This sends a message to foreign buyers that we have natural gas to sell,” he continued.
The deep-water Aphrodite discovery, made in 2011 in Noble-operated Block 12, is estimated to hold 4.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 9 million barrels of condensate in contingent and prospective resources.
In late January, Noble was reported to have opened talks with the Cypriot government on a possible development plan for Aphrodite.
Noble, together with partners Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration that are both units of Israel’s Delek Group, was earlier said to be considering incorporating development of the find with the much larger adjacent Leviathan gas field in Israeli waters in which the trio are also partners.
However, Noble and its partners have hit the skids at Leviathan after Israel’s anti-trust body said they must sell down the stakes in the monster gas field in order to break up a perceived monopoly on the Israeli gas market.