ECONOMY

Cyprus to seek new natural gas supply

Cyprus plans to launch a new tender to bring natural gas into the country within a month, extending the duration because of delays with its own production plans.

According to Charles Ellinas, chief executive officer of Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Co, in charge of the country’s gas developments, the island nation will seek 0.7 billion cubic meters (24.7 billion cubic feet) a year of gas supplied for seven to 10 years.

The previous tender, for a supply period of less than four years, was canceled because none of the offered bids was acceptable, he stated.

“The duration of the contract will be longer because production of own gas is being delayed,” he said, adding that the tender parameters haven’t been finalized.

Cyprus, which reported its first offshore natural gas find in 2011, plans to produce its own fuel to bring down electricity bills and build a liquefied natural gas export plant.

Noble Energy Inc last month reduced its mean estimate of the amount of gas present in Block 12, the first to be developed, to 5 trillion cubic feet, almost equal to China’s use of the fuel last year.

The island nation plans to start LNG production in 2021, one year later than expected, Ellinas said.

Gross reserves in Block 12 are 3.6 trillion to 6 trillion cubic feet, Noble said on October 3.

Noble, which owns a 70 percent stake in the block, estimated in 2011 the field held a mean of 7 trillion cubic feet.

Cyprus is considering an offer by Noble to provide the country with gas from the block to meet domestic power needs as an interim solution until the nation can use its own gas from 2019, Keith Elliott, Noble’s senior vice president for the eastern Mediterranean, said on October 15.

If the offer is accepted by year-end, Noble could provide the gas by mid-2016, he said.

[Bloomberg]