Egypt and Cyprus have signed an agreement for the delivery of gas to Egypt through an undersea pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean. The deal is part of an effort to commercialize a gas reservoir discovered recently off of Cyprus's southern coast and holding an estimated 4 trillion cubic feet.
"This is part of the development of the east Mediterranean gas as a whole and I think our strategy optimally is to position ourselves as an energy hub in the region," said Tarek el-Molla, Egyptian Petroleum Minister.
Egypt is still considering whether to use the gas for growing domestic consumption or to liquify it in its LNG plant for export to international markets. The first gas through the new pipeline should reach Egypt sometime between 2020 and 2022, but officials will try to speed up the timetable.
El-Molla noted that, despite low prices on the international gas markets which have forced energy companies to slash costs and pull back on investments, international petroleum companies like Eni and BP have committed to developing the large new gas fields inside in the Mediterranean.