East Med Poised for Offshore Opportunities

Multibillion-dollar Investment Potential

Newly discovered natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean region represent significant investment and breakbulk potential in Cyprus, according to the latest research by advisory firm IQPC.
“2019 has been a game-changer of a year for Cyprus, as the successful discovery and initial well drilling of the Glaucus and Aphrodite fields, respectively, are opening up a wealth of new opportunities that span much further than the natural gas itself,” said Georgios Chatzivamvakis, conference director at IQPC Middle East.

11 Trillion Cubic Feet
In February, ExxonMobil achieved a discovery of a 133-meter natural gas reservoir estimated to represent a volume of 5 billion to 8 trillion cubic feet. An earlier discovery at the Aphrodite field indicates 3.6 billion to 6 trillion cubic feet, and initial natural gas production from this field is expected as soon as 2024-2025.

Cyprus has become a bright spot for exploration, racking up a string of giant gas discoveries, including two of the largest global finds: ExxonMobil’s Glaucus and Eni’s Calypso. In total, Wood Mackenzie estimates 11 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas resource has been discovered in Cypriot waters.
Glaucus is not expected to come online until late 2030s, and is expected to represent “a vast multi-decade commitment” amounting to tens of billions of dollars in investments, according to IQPC.

Aphrodite Field
The Aphrodite Field is among the most mature, has already been appraised and is favored to access Egyptian LNG facilities, but progress still depends on fiscal terms in Block 12 PSC being amended to be more appropriate for a gas project.

“Not only does the extraction and delivery of the gas represent billions of dollars-worth of investment and future revenue, the entire eastern Mediterranean region is poised to capitalise on wide-ranging economic possibilities by establishing itself as a new energy hub strategically placed to serve the European, African and Asian markets,” Chatzivamvakis said.

Cyprus itself is expected to earn US$9 billion from the Aphrodite field alone over its lifespan, due to its recently renegotiated contracts.