ENERGY: Interest in Cyprus hydrocarbon wealth growing despite Turkish threats

Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said the fact that discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus were piling up with more explorations planned, was creating confidence, despite Turkey trying to create conditions of instability in the region.

Lakkotrypis said that the Eastern Mediterranean as an alternative source of energy for Europe, was receiving a lot of attention because of the new discoveries.

This is why we feel that we should implement our strategy and keep the interest we have built in the region.

He said it was important to keep Cyprus’ interests aligned with the companies in the sector or with the countries from which the companies originate, in order to have support.

Lakkotrypis said there were many issues with Turkey that needed to be addressed, such as the questioning of the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

If we accept Turkish version of our EEZ we will be left with 30% of what we have todaywe would have all of the discoveries in Aphrodite, Calypso, Glafcos, falling into other countries.

He expressed hope that activities and discoveries in the gas sector would act as an incentive for Turkey to sit down at the negotiating table to find a just solution to the Cyprus problem.

Referring to Turkey’s claims that the country advocates the rights of Turkish Cypriots, he wondered if having only 30% of the Cypriot EEZ was best for the Turkish Cypriots.

He also pointed out that Turkey’s provocations were aimed at destabilising the conditions for international companies, so they would not come and invest in Cyprus.

The Republic of Cyprus has been very careful in order not to engage in this game of destabilisation and to proceed with its strategic plans in oil and gas, said Lakkotrypis.

Asked about the gas quantities needed for Cyprus to acquire its own land-based natural gas liquefaction terminal, he said that energy plant needed 12-15 tcf to make it viable.

He said that Eastern Mediterranean gas should be offered at competitive prices in order to be able to compete with Russian natural gas sold very cheaply due to the existing infrastructure and shale gas from the United States.

Lakkotrypis argued that natural gas was going to function as a bridge fuel in the coming years in order to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources (RES), for which Cyprus was not yet ready.

The Minister was speaking at a panel discussion during the 10th Economic Ideas Forum organised by the Wilfried Martens Centre of European Studies and the Glafcos Clerides Institute, in Nicosia.

Speaking at the same event, Ambassador of Israel to Cyprus Sammy Revel referred to the tripartite cooperation of Cyprus, Greece, Israel, saying that that cooperation was not aimed against anyone, but countries believed that if they work together, they could contribute to the security, stability and prosperity of the region.

He said that cooperation on energy issues with Turkey was not on the table at the moment, but Israel was prioritizing the EastMed gas pipeline to contribute to energy security and diversification of energy sources in Europe.

Revel also said that Cyprus and Israel could become important partners in both gas and renewable energy issues, as well as on technology issues by exploiting their huge human resources.

Source: The Financial Mirror