Cypriot cabinet appoints committee to renegotiate gas agreement

The cabinet on Tuesday appointed a committee that will enter talks with energy companies over the revenue sharing agreement for the 4.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) Aphrodite gas finding in an offshore block.

“The best option is to try and find a mutually acceptable solution with the consortium so that the Aphrodite reserve is developed as soon as possible,” Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said after the meeting.

The minister said development of the reserve would have a lot of financial and geopolitical benefits.

Lakkotrypis said political parties will be briefed about the results of the talks.

Aphrodite lies in block 12 of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and it is Cyprus’s first gas finding, discovered in 2011.

The Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. is the leader of a consortium with the participation of Israel’s Delek and Britain’s BG (British Gas), a subsidiary of Shell.

While the decline in energy prices that set off in mid-2014 has negatively affected investment in hydrocarbons, in recent months they started to recover. The price of a barrel of oil had fallen from over $100 per barrel four years ago to as low as below $40. Currently, Brent oil is traded at around $50.

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