On August 31, Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla signed a deal for the transfer of natural gas to Egypt via a submarine pipeline (Reuters, AP). Noble, a U.S. energy company, discovered a large deposit of natural gas off Cyprus in 2011 (Forbes). This agreement will lead to closing commercial deals with interested energy companies (Cyprus Weekly). The Cyprus-Egypt deal will also help alleviate the energy demands in Egypt due to its large population and growing industry (AP).
Egypt has been facing energy challenges as political and financial instability in the region threaten the local production of natural gas (Forbes). El-Molla hopes that this deal will position Egypt as the energy hub of the region (AP). Companies are set to start exporting between 2020 and 2022, but Lakkotrypis stated the Cypriot government is in negotiations to accelerate the timetable (Cyprus Weekly). Cyprus and Greece are in separate negotiations with Israel to strengthen energy ties (AP).
Tags: small countries, Egypt, natural gas, Box, Greece