Cyprus Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said on Tuesday that compensation will certainly not be given before the development plan is in place and before the Aphrodite field is in the development process and before there is a certain prospect for income from both sides “because we want neither side to be wronged.”
Pilides was replying to questions by the press on Tuesday about a meeting she had on Monday in Nicosia with Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar over a possible settlement of the dispute concerning the “Aphrodite” gas field in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the neighbouring Israeli “Ishai” gas field.
Invited to comment on press reports about an agreement for 192 mln euro, Pilides clarified that we are talking about two different things.
The one is Chevron’s investment and the other is the Ishai issue, she said.
The Minister noted that the next steps for the development of Aphrodite had indeed been agreed upon with Chevron when the US team was in Cyprus. She said that the time period when the next drilling will take place as well as the submission of the development plan for Aphrodite have been agreed, adding that the announcement issued by the company regarding the investments that will be made has to do solely with this part.
Pilides said that “we are moving forward, hoping that everything will go smoothly.” She added that at the end of the year we expect the final draft of the development plan which will be processed and approved by the Republic of Cyprus.
The Energy Minister added that beyond that there is the pending issue with Aphrodite-Ishai and the fact that part of the field falls into Israel’s EEZ.
She described yesterday’s meeting with her counterpart as “very constructive”, during which this issue and other such as the electricity interconnection, green transition, our participation in COP27, and others were discussed.
Pilides said that discussions over Ishai were very constructive “and basically we agreed, at least verbally, on the basic principles that will govern the agreement that will be made between the two states, so that Israel is compensated due to Cyprus taking over the development of the entire field.”
The Minister of Energy said that the recent press reports regarding either the 10% or the advance payment from now on for the waiver of rights, etc., “are not accurate”.
Pilides said that the discussion took place on the same basis as before namely based on the decisions taken last April for the appointment of an expert who will process some data from both sides to conclude on those that will be included in the formula that has already been discussed.
She added that there have been discussions to a large extent about how it will work, how the compensation will be calculated and we hope that in the next period all of these elements will be put on paper so that we can have something in writing to proceed.
She noted that it will take some years to reach to the compensation stage that will go along with Chevron’s and the consortium’s development plan.
Pilides said that indeed the two issues are interrelated and move in parallel but the whole issue is complicated because the findings of the next drilling as well as the development plan are elements that will be needed and should be put before the expert to agree on the next steps and draw the final results.
Source: Cyprus News Agency