Cyprus and Egypt Sign Agreement for Subsea Gas Pipeline


Cyprus and Egypt sign an inter-state agreement concerning a subsea pipeline to carry Cypriot natural gas to Egypt. Cyprus’ Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and his Egyptian counterpart Tarek El Molla met on September 18 in Nicosia with the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, to inform him about the conclusion of the deal.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, Lakkotrypis said the agreement was crucial for the efforts of both countries to channel natural gas from the “Aphrodite” reservoir, off Cyprus’ coast, towards Egypt. The agreement sets the framework for cooperation between the two countries, the Minister went on, while highlighting that it is the first if its kind in the region, and is in line with EU standards.

The Minister also said that a representative of the European Commission will attend Wednesday’s signing ceremony, adding that this shows the importance the EU attaches to the project. This pipeline is a European pipeline, the Minister went on. He added that gas will be carried to Egypt once commercial agreements advance and then it will reach European markets in LNG form.

The Cypriot Minister of Energy also noted that this will help Europe strengthen its energy security.

Replying to a question, Lakkotrypis said the agreement concerns at this stage Cyprus and Egypt but hailed it as a model for regional cooperation. As regards talks for a commercial agreement, the Minister said that the government is currently preparing its positions before asking the consortium to start comprehensive talks.

Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum said from his part that together with his Cypriot counterpart they enjoyed the support of both Presidents of Cyprus and Egypt throughout the process of concluding the inter-state agreement.

This agreement is the first of its kind and it paves the way for the conclusion of the project, allowing private investors to negotiate a commercial agreement, Tarek El Molla added.

He said finally that the agreement provides that Cyprus’ natural gas will be both re-exported, as well as used for domestic consumption. The construction of the pipeline depends on how fast commercial agreements advance with the investors, the Egyptian Minister concluded.