Cyprus Drilling Success May Offer EU Gas Alternative to Russia
Cyprus said success drilling in deep waters off the eastern Mediterranean island this year may offer Europe a way to loosen Russia’s grip on its energy supplies.
Cyprus, which has proven reserves of as much as 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, is looking to find another 4 trillion to 5 trillion cubic feet, Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said. Such a discovery, about a quarter the size of Israel’s giant Leviathan find, would allow the country to proceed with plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal.
An LNG plant on Cyprus could also process gas from elsewhere in the Levant Basin, an area that may hold 122 trillion cubic feet of gas, and ship it by sea to markets in western Europe, where supplies are now threatened by the crisis in Ukraine. Russia, which provides about 15 percent of the region’s needs through Soviet-era pipelines crisscrossing its western neighbor, has threatened to cut supplies from June.
Editor's Note: Exploiting offshore gas reserves is one of our crisis investing catalysts for stocks on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, see more here.