Cyprus, Egypt starts gas line to Europe in 2024-2025: minister

Cyprus will transport initial natural gas production from its Aphrodite field to Egyptian liquefaction terminals between 2024 and 2025, energy minister George Lakkotrypis said on Thursday.

The step will be followed by a re-export to Europe in the form of liquefied natural gas, Lakkotrypis said at the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum held in Cairo.

Eastern Mediterranean countries including Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and Italy have formed a partnership last year to deliver more natural gas to Europe and transform the region into a major energy hub.

Later in September 2019, Egypt signed a more specific agreement with Cyprus to link the Cypriot Aphrodite gas field to Egyptian liquefaction terminals in Idku and Damietta through a proposed undersea pipeline, with the goal of processing and re-exporting the gas to Europe and other markets.

Under the plan, gas will flow to Egypt from the Aphrodite field, which was first discovered in 2011 by Noble Energy Inc. and contains an estimated 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

There have been a massive flurry of successful exploration efforts in recent years that identified natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, where gas output has begun to soar.  The recent gas discoveries off Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt could create a centre of gas production on Europe’s doorstep. The European Union offers an attractive market for the region’s explorers as it moves to diversify supply away from Russia.