Chevron to continue with Cypriot Aphrodite gas field commercialization, says minister

The United States’ second-biggest energy company Chevron has assured it will honor arrangements made between Cyprus and Noble Energy company for the commercialization of a gas field in the eastern Mediterranean, Cypriot Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Natasa Pilides said Saturday.

Pilides said last week that she was uncertain as to whether Chevron would proceed with work needed to develop Aphrodite natural gas field, which lies between Cyprus and Israel, after the takeover by Chevron of Noble Energy, which discovered the field in 2012.

But she told Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation radio that after teleconferences with both Chevron and Noble Energy officials she received assurances that work in relation to the gas field “will not freeze.”

She said it could take between 2020 and 2025 to start exploiting 4.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the gas field.

Work needed before pumping gas could start to include some drillings to confirm the quantity of gas in the field.

“The continuing coronavirus crisis and depressed natural gas prices are downside factors,” the minister added.

Pilides also said that Cyprus and Israel have to agree on the joint exploitation of part of the gas, as the field extends into the Israeli exclusive economic zone. Both sides have assigned technical teams to work on the issue.

Noble Energy had a license to develop and exploit the field for 18 years.

Chevron announced Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Noble Energy to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Noble Energy in an all-stock transaction valued at 5 billion U.S. dollars.