Saturday September 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Cyprus to build gas plant with or without Israel

Cyprus' offshore natural gas deposits are enough to warrant the construction of a gas processing plant to export excess supply, regardless of whether Israel decides to be a partner in the project, the island nation's foreign minister said Wednesday.

Ioannis Kasoulides said Cyprus is continuing talks with Israel, which has also discovered its own offshore gas deposits, on ways the countries can best exploit their mineral reserves. Cyprus is particularly keen, hoping its future gas wealth will help pull it out of a crushing economic crisis that has forced it to ask for an international bailout.

One option is to pipe the gas to Cyprus, where it could be processed for export to Europe and beyond. The pipelines and processing facility, which would liquefy the gas for easier transport, are expected to be in place by 2019-20 and cost as much as 10 billion euros ($13.33 billion).

“We must show understanding that Israel is deciding about all these matters in the coming months,” Kasoulides told The Associated Press in an interview. Kasoulides said it remains to be seen whether Israel wants to be part of Cyprus' energy plans, but that the construction of the plant «will take place anyhow.”

Another unpredictable factor is Turkey, which doesn't recognize Cyprus as a sovereign country and strongly objects to its gas search, and which has had troubled relations with Israel.

Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974, when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Turkish Cypriots declared an independent state in 1983, but is only recognized by Turkey which maintains 35,000 troops there.

Israel recently apologized to Turkey for a botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed eight Turks and a Turkish-American in 2010 and agreed to compensate the injured and the relatives of the dead. The raid had badly ruptured Turkish-Israeli relations, but Kasoulides said he doesn't see the recent attempts to patch things up as standing in the way of potential Cypriot-Israeli energy cooperation.

Israel's apology over the incident “doesn't mean Israel is obliged to follow what Turkey is dictating in this region,” the Cyprus foreign minister said.

Kasoulides and Cyprus' Commerce and Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis will travel to Israel next week for energy cooperation talks. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is to visit Israel later this month.

The foreign minister said the oil and gas companies that are licensed to search for mineral deposits off the island nation's southern coast will spearhead the infrastructure construction. One recently discovered field that US firm Noble Energy and Israeli Partner Delek are developing is estimated to hold 5-8 trillion cubic feet (140-230 billion cubic meters) of gas.

Cyprus energy officials estimate that Cypriot waters are estimated to hold at least 60 trillion cubic feet (1.7 trillion cubic meters) of gas, enough to cover domestic needs for decades and supply Europe's growing demand for the fossil fuel.

Kasoulides challenged suggestions that Cyprus should ferry the gas to Turkey for further distribution to Europe, saying that such an option may be too limiting and that liquefied natural gas “can sell east and west, north and south.”

Kasoulides insisted that it is Cyprus' sovereign right to exploit its own mineral deposits, despite fierce opposition from Turkey, which says the rights of Turkish Cypriot are being ignored, has claimed some of Cyprus' offshore blocks as its own and has warned that it would react strongly to further gas exploration by Cyprus.

The potential gas revenue belongs to all citizens of Cyprus, but will be shared with the north after a reunification agreement is reached, Kasoulides said.

“You cannot imagine taking money and giving (it) to a self-proclaimed, non-recognized entity with the island,” he said. “How come? Are we going to give them a reward also? (The gas) belongs to both communities, but it belongs to both communities constituting ... a united Cyprus."

However, Kasoulides added that some of the future gas revenue may be used to fund scholarships and research grants that would be available to both communities even before a peace deal is hammered out. [AP]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday April 4, 2013 (10:17)  
Record sum of new debts to the state in August
‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
Cyprus civil servants´ strike called off
Elliniko investors eye Cyprus project warily
Mayors resisting evaluation to face disciplinary action
Mayors and municipal employees who refuse to take part in a civil service evaluation scheme the government has undertaken as part of commitments to international creditors will face discipli...
Fyssas rally demonstrators face prosecutor after clashes
Sixty-four people arrested in Keratsini, a suburb of Piraeus, on Thursday, following clashes with police during an anti-racist march marking the one-year anniversary of the murder of rapper ...
Inside News
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
High stakes after the Scottish vote
We will soon know whether the Scots voted for their country’s independence or whether they will remain citizens of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” What was alread...
EDITORIAL
Breathing room
Even Greece’s biggest critics find it hard to deny that the debt-hit country has achieved an unprecedented fiscal turnaround within a very short period of time. Sure, progress in promoting t...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
2. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
3. Mayors resisting evaluation to face disciplinary action
4. Fyssas rally demonstrators face prosecutor after clashes
5. PM in energy talks ahead of crucial meeting with Merkel
6. Attiki Odos Lamia exit to close Sunday
more news
Today
This Week
1. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
2. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
3. EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
4. Dozens of arrests at march to mark anniversary of Fyssas murder
5. Hardouvelis signals Greece may skip IMF loans to exit aid curbs
6. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
6. SYRIZA spokesman suggests gov't sought to stop NERIT airing Tsipras speech live
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.