Gas reserves off Cyprus are nearly a third less than initially estimated but remain "substantial," the energy minister said yesterday, insisting Nicosia would proceed with ambitious production plans.
"Despite the lower quantities…compared to those of 2011, the confirmed reserves affirm a particularly important reserve of natural gas," said Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis.
He said test data from a confirmation drill by US firm Noble Energy showed the natural gas discovery in Block 12 ranges from 3.6 trillion cubic feet to 6 tcf with a mean of 5 tcf, falling short of a Noble estimate in 2011 of 5-8 tcf, with a mean of 7 tcf.
Lakkotrypis insisted, however, that the assessment "confirms there are substantial deposits of natural gas with significant possibilities of production."
Moreover, plans to build a gas processing plant, to export excess supply remains on track amid good prospects of future gas finds.
A second appraisal well to specify gas quantities in the field will be needed which may cause delays in building the LNG facility.
Based on a "very preliminary" estimate and an assessment of reserves at 4.5 tcf, Noble had discovered gas with a gross value of $50 billion.
"We would be looking at a net profit of between $12 and $18 billion over a 14 year period," Lakkotrypis said.