Energy Minister: Development of block 6 to proceed with a fast pace

The process concerning the development of natural gas deposits in block 6 in the Cypriot EEZ will proceed with a fast pace, Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides has said, announcing the entry of French TOTAL in the field of renewable energy in Cyprus.

Pilides who accompanied TOTAL’s vice president Laurent Vivier during a meeting with the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, described the meeting as very constructive.

“We discussed the company’s commitment and its optimism concerning the Cypriot EEZ and the prospects for the supply of Europe with natural gas from Cyprus, as well as some plans (of TOTAL) to invest in some significant renewable energy project to be made with some of the company’s associates in Cyprus, which will assist Cyprus very much to proceed with green transition,” Pilides said after the meeting.

Responding to a question whether TOTAL and ENI, who hold the hydrocarbon exploration and development license in block 6, have developed plans for an expedited development of the natural gas reserves discovered in block 6, Pilides recalled that the Italian ENI is the operator in block 6.

“We are in discussions concerning development. It is still early to have a specific plan but surely activity will continue concerning the actions to be made in 2023 and I believe the whole process will continue with fast steps,” Pilides added.

Two discoveries have been announced in block 6 in 2022. In Cronos 1 with a natural deposit estimated at 2.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and the latest in Zeus 1 with an estimated natural gas deposit between 2 and 3 tcf. ENI, which is the operator of the block said it targets a “fast-track development of block 6.”

Responding to a question, the Energy Minister said that the Ministry is in communication with the operator of the “Aphrodite” gas reservoir, concerning its development plan. “The development plan is at the final stages and we will have news very soon,” she added.

Furthermore, replying to a question, Pilides said the scenario of transporting Cypriot natural gas to Egypt’s LNG terminals remains the most plausible but added that the Ministry is in talks with the licensed companies with regard to possible synergies.

With regard to TOTAL’s plans to invest in a solar park in Cyprus, Pilides said the project concerns a large photovoltaic plant, but gave no numbers concerning the plant’s capacity.

But she noted that this project is expected to cover a significant percentage of renewable energy in Cyprus total energy