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No Easy Path for Cyprus to Become an Energy Hub, Note Senior Officials at IENE-FMW Symposium

No Easy Path for Cyprus to Become an Energy Hub, Note Senior Officials at IENE-FMW SymposiumThere are no easy solutions Cyprus wants to become an energy hub and to exploit its natural wealth, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Wednesday, November 1st, addressing the 5th Energy Symposium hosted by the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe (ΙΕΝΕ) and Fmw Financial Media Way company, in Nicosia

There are no easy solutions Cyprus wants to become an energy hub and to exploit its natural wealth, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Wednesday, November 1st, addressing the 5th Energy Symposium hosted by the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe (ΙΕΝΕ) and Fmw Financial Media Way company, in Nicosia.

Lakkotrypis said that if Cyprus wished to complete the puzzle of hydrocarbons, from delineating its EEZ, to discovering reserves, to exploiting them and developing all the relevant services, then the path would be a long one, hard work is needed and "there are no easy solutions.” "What I can assure you is that we are committed to our goals and we will seek to achieve them with confidence,” he said. He added that it would be very hard to say how hydrocarbon reserves would be exploited until a clear picture has taken shape on the quantities available. The so called ‘Aphrodite’ reserves, discovered in Block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ which have been confirmed can be commercially developed only through a direct pipeline to Egypt’s LNG plants in Idku and Damietta for which intensive negotiations are taking place within a difficult international economic environment.

Speaking earlier in the same event, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades appeared cautiously optimistic in view of the new round of exploratory drillings to be carried out in the Republic's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

In 2018, Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum is planning to carry out two exploratory drills in the second half of the year while Italy’s ENI is planning to proceed with drills in offshore blocks 6,8 and 3.

"We are cautiously optimistic over this new round of exploratory drillings, hoping that the results will render Cyprus an undisputed major player in the energy field both concerning the Easter Mediterranean and the EU,” Anastasiades said addressing an energy symposium.

Apart from the exploratory activity, Anastasiades highlighted that a basic pillar of Cyprus’ strategy concerns upgrading the country’s relations with neighbouring states and other influential policy centres.

In his remarks, Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority’s (CERA) President Andreas Poulikkas spoke of the authority’s proposal to import natural gas to Cyprus as a permanent solution, one that runs in parallel with using reserves within Cyprus’ EEZ for reasons of security supply and competition but also in order to use natural gas in other areas.

The CEO and founder of EC Natural Hydrocarbons Company Ltd Cyprus Dr. Charles Ellinas said that very few projects have moved forward to a phase of implementation in recent years due to low prices. He added that in a world with a plethora of energy resources, exporting becomes a more difficult option and he expressed the view that large companies such as ExxonMobil will not go ahead with any projects unless they are profitable.

More than 25 speakers and 130 delegates participated in the 5th Cyprus Energy Symposium, which was convened by IENE in association with the Fmw Financial Media Way company and took place at the Cyprus Hilton hotel. This year’s Symposium, with the special theme of "Cyprus: Europe’s New Energy Gate”, which was held under the auspices of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), was sponsored by EKO, J&P-AVAX Group, Wärtsilä and PWC and is supported by Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority , Cyprus Electricity Authority (AHK), Invest in Cyprus (Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency – CIPA. Cobalt was the Symposium’s official airways carrier. The event’s media partners included the sites www.energia.gr, www.nomisma.com.cy and www.philenews.com, as well as the daily "Philelephtheros” and the "Cyprus Weekly” newspapers, Antenna Cyprus TV Channel.

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