BG farming into Aphrodite block off Cyprus

Principals of the farmout of a large interest in Block 12 offshore Cyprus expect the deal to advance development of Aphrodite natural gas field.

BG Group is acquiring a 35% interest in the block from Noble Energy Inc. for $165 million cash.

Aphrodite, discovered in 2011, has gross mean natural resources of 4 tcf. It’s across the sector line from undeveloped Leviathan gas field, a 2010 discovery by a group led by Noble in Israeli waters.

Noble will remain operator of the Aphrodite block with a 35% working interest. Delek Group holds the other 30%.

Several development schemes have been discussed for Aphrodite, including an LNG plant at Vassilikos, Cyprus, that also would receive gas from Leviathan field. Another possibility is a pipeline to Egypt, where Eni SPA recently reported the giant deepwater Zohr gas discovery (OGJ Online, Aug. 31, 2015).

“We are continuing to work with the government of Cyprus to finalize Aphrodite development plans,” said J. Keith Elliott, Noble Energy senior vice-president of Eastern Mediterranean. “In conjunction with that work, we have recently commenced gas marketing efforts, primarily targeting customers in Egypt, including both domestic purchasers and underutilized [LNG] plants.”

In a statement about the Block 12 deal, BG Group also cited Egyptian projects.

“This upstream position provides a potential source of gas to Egypt, where BG Group holds equity in the two-train LNG export facility at Idku as well as LNG offtake rights to lift 3.6 million tonnes/year,” it said.

BG Group made the undeveloped Gaza Marine discovery off Palestinian territory in 2000.

Separately, Noble Energy is selling its 47% interests in the Alon A and Alon C licenses off Israel, which include Tanin and Karish gas fields, to Dele Group for $73 million.

The divestments accommodate a regulatory agreement in Israel under which Delek will sell its Tanin and Karish interests and Noble Energy will diminish some of its Israeli holdings.

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