Cyprus and Chevron continue development of offshore gas field

NICOSIA, July 21 (Reuters)Cyprus and Chevron CVX.N said they were determined to accelerate the development of the Aphrodite offshore gas field to supply European markets and Egypt.

Natural gas in the field, located southeast of Cyprus, was discovered in 2011. It is estimated to contain around 4.5 trillion cubic meters (tcf) of gas, but it is untapped.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting disruption of energy supplies have European countries scrambling to find alternative sources of natural gas.

A new well will be drilled on site in the coming months, as part of an already approved development and production plan, the Cypriot Ministry of Energy and Chevron Cyprus said in a joint statement issued on Thursday.

“Given the prevailing energy environment and the potential for Cyprus and the entire Eastern Mediterranean to make a significant contribution to Europe’s security of supply and diversification of sources, both sides remain determined to continue working together to accelerate the moment of first gas from ‘Aphrodite’ in Egypt and European markets,” the statement issued in Nicosia reads.

Part of the delay in Aphrodite’s development is that a small portion of the field lies within Israel’s maritime zone.

Chevron is a partner in the Aphrodite field with Shell RDSa.L, and Israel’s NewMed Energy, formerly known as Delek Drilling. Chevron merged with independent operator Noble Energy, which had stakes in the Cypriot field as well as some Israeli companies, in 2020.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas; editing by David Evans)

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