NICOSIA, June 21 Cyprus will sign a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) with Noble Energy, Delek Drilling
and Avner Oil Exploration on June 26
regarding the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG)
terminal, authorities said on Friday.
Cyprus, which discovered natural gas off its shores in 2011,
aims to begin LNG exports in 2020, processing not only its own
gas but also supplies from Israel and potentially Lebanon.
Cyprus needs to restructure its economy as a condition of a
recent bailout and is looking to the gas discoveries to cut fuel
imports, generate revenues and boost industry.
The proposed LNG terminal, which consultants estimate could
cost $6 billion, is to be located at the southern coastal
industrial site of Vassilikos, the government said in a
The project would be the biggest single investment in the
Partners Noble, Avner and Delek have discovered some of the
world's largest gas reserves off Israel in the past decade, as
well as the discovery off Cyprus in 2011. Further exploration
work is currently under way off the Mediterranean island.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates 122 trillion cubic feet
(3.5 trillion cubic metres) of recoverable gas lies in the
eastern Mediterranean sea basin, much of it beneath the seabed
between Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon.
Some gas from the East Mediterranean is expected to head to
Europe, but its proximity to the Suez Canal also means
super-cooled LNG could reach Asian customers, including top LNG
buyers South Korea and Japan.