Ministers of petroleum and energy from Cyprus, Syria and Egypt are scheduled to meet in Damascus January to complete discussions on an underwater pipeline project carrying gas exports from Egypt to Cyprus via Syria.
The project includes tapping natural gas and oil deposits in the East Mediterranean and is hoped to present Egypt with the lucrative opportunity of supplying European markets with natural gas tax-free, once the Cypriot island becomes a European Union (EU) member.
Cypriot officials confirmed that their government intends to finance the pipeline extension from Syria’s Baniyas port to the island's southern coast. The link is expected to cost in the region of $250 million and take at least four years to complete. The natural gas would be liquefied on the island and used locally for electricity generation or possibly shipped onwards to EU markets.
Pending issues to be discussed in the upcoming meeting include the price at which Cyprus will buy the Egyptian gas and procedures for re-exporting Egyptian gas to Europe. A joint technical committee needs also to mark out a continental shelf and delineate exclusive economic zones for Cyprus and Egypt. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )