Cyprus hopes to begin importing liquefied natural gas from Israel by early 2015,
Cypriot Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis was quoted as
saying by Famagusta Gazette Online Tuesday.
Israel is in favor of
supplying Cyprus with between 0.5 and 0.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas
for electricity production, Sylikiotis reportedly said. The island country is
planning to import natural gas in the short term, before exploiting its own
offshore reserves around 2018.
Sylikiotis spoke to journalists following
the visit to Israel of a high-level Cypriot delegation, including officials from
the Cyprus Electric Authority, Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, Natural Gas
Public Company and the Commerce Ministry’s Energy Service.
“If all these
discussions are completed by the end of the year, then we can have natural gas
in early 2015 at lower prices for three to five years,” the Gazette quoted
Sylikiotis as saying. He said the gas would be bought through the Cyprus
Electric Authority, following a state-to-state agreement or a deal with the
Israel Electric Company.
The comments were made less than one week after
the Tzemach Report recommended that Israel cap exportation of natural-gas
reserves to 500 b.cu.m., while saving at least 450 b.cu.m. for domestic
Israel has about 800 b.cu.m. in confirmed natural-gas
resources, according to the report, which still requires cabinet and Knesset
approval. In addition, there are 680 b.cu.m. in known prospective
resources, of which some 150 b.cu.m. are said to have at least a 90 percent
probability of success.