International oil companies, downstream companies and financial institutions have shown great interest in the Cypriot Aphrodite gas field following an intergovernmental agreement arrived at between Egypt and Cyprus, claimed Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, according to a report by the Cyprus News Agency.
The two governments are now trying to hasten the process about building a gas pipeline between the two countries, after the completion of constitutional and legal issues, following the agreement between them, he said.
The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) which was formed between Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Palestine, is based in Egypt and was established with the aim of undertaking joint explorations of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
While being optimistic about the partnership with Cyprus, the minister was not as optimistic about the potential of the EastMed pipeline in which Egypt does not p[lay a part.
The minister said that Egypt is trying to establish itself into a regional energy hub in which Gas would play a crucial role. “ We do not intend to depend only on the Egyptian resources and facilities. Our endeavour is to be the gateway for all East Med Gas to access potential markets,” he said.
“We are constantly enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation with all the relevant partners; an obvious example is the Egyptian – Cypriot – Greek cooperation going on the highest level. It’s now time to extend an umbrella to include all these cooperation efforts and to set a mechanism for a structured policy dialogue to build a shared vision and set the scene for a stable regional gas market; one that can optimally utilize the current and future infrastructure to reduce cost and keep competitive edge, minimize risk, and encourage the quick monetization of the regional reserves and attract more investments in the gas industry in East Medm” Tarek El-Molla said.
Achieving of these targets would result in some significant impacts on the well being of the entire region, he said. This is because the programs are closely aligned to the general Egyptian policy that is based on greater cooperation and integration with all countries – specifically those neighbouring the country, and enhancing the relationships through more economic and commercial tie ups.
In that light Egypt views the EMGF as a critical means of achieving better outcomes for Egypt and other countries of the region.
The smaller countries of the region such as Cyprus would also be helped by the EMGF to build up its reserves and make greater gains from the energy wealth resident in the region. This would be achieved through development of a framework for creating a structured dialogue between all of the concerned parties in the Gas value chain – which include producers, consumers, transit countries and industry, Tarek El-Molla said.
“The EMGF will also allow a clear vision for the region’s gas future encouraging more E&P activities,” he added.
For Cyprus, the EMGF would prove to be beneficial in multiple ways which would include fast monetization of the present reserves lying with the country and potentially help the country to achieve future discoveries as well as integrate with other parties in the value chain which would open up new opportunities of cooperation, the minister added.
(Adapted from FinancialMirror.com)