Cyprus gives Chevron another 6 months to come up with a timetable on a natural gas field development

NICOSIA, Cyprus — The Cyprus government has given Chevron another six months to come up with a revised plan to develop a sizeable natural gas deposit off the island nation’s southern coastline after an earlier plan proposed by the U.S. energy company lacked a timetable, an official said Thursday.

Chevron’s development proposal from March 29 for the Aphrodite deposit estimated to hold 4.2 trillion cubic feet of gas “wasn’t considered targeted and was without specific timetables,” the official with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the deal.

In a reply letter last Thursday, Cypriot Energy Minister George Papanastasiou asked Chevron for “specific, targeted actions” and a “specific timetable” that would confirm its commitment to developing the gas field.

In January this year, the Cypriot government and Chevron reached a “mutually beneficial” agreement on how to develop the gas field, ending long stalled negotiations on plans to extract the hydrocarbon since its discovery in 2011.

At the time, the Cypriot energy ministry said Chevron affirmed that both sides are in “alignment” regarding the “wider framework of the field’s exploitation.”

Chevron had wanted to send the gas to Egypt through a pipeline, but Cyprus preferred to process it on a floating production facility because it would be more economically beneficial for the island nation and would lend more flexibility to supplying other markets.

On Tuesday, Claudio Descalzi, chief executive officer of the Italian energy company Eni discussed with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides ways to expedite development of gas fields that Eni discovered in waters off Cyprus’ southern coast.

A statement said the two men reviewed discoveries that Eni and its partner TotalEnergies of France made in 2022, confirming “the encouraging outcomes of the previous wells.”

Eni, which has had a presence in Cyprus since 2013, operates five offshore areas – or blocks – and has participating interest in another two.

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