NICOSIA - Noble Energy has a plan to bring offshore gas to Cyprus within three years if the government commits to the proposal by the end of 2013.
The US company’s J. Keith Elliot told reporters yesterday that a modified rig could be brought over from the Gulf of Mexico to extract gas from the field south of Cyprus.
It would then be piped to an onshore power plant to meet the island’s domestic energy needs.
Crisis-hit Cyprus, dependent on oil for most of its energy supply, is looking for ways to generate cheaper electricity as an interim solution until it can tap its offshore riches.
Elliot’s statements came as visiting EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy reaffirmed Cyprus’ right to exploit its offshore gas, despite Turkish objections.
“The EU is clear on Cyprus’ rights to explore and exploit its natural resources,” he said after talks with President Anastasiades in Nicosia.
The top EU official described the offshore gas resources as “an important factor of hope”, adding that energy was one of the issues of the agenda of the next European Council.
Noble and its Israeli partners Delek and Avner are now developing the field, known as Aphrodite, estimated to hold 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Elliot said Noble backs Cyprus' plan to build an onshore gas processing plant to export excess supply.