Government of Cyprus gets notification a reserve area off its coast holds commercial quantities of natural gas. File Photo by UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo
TEL AVIV, Israel, June 8 (UPI) -- A group of Israeli energy partners said they were declaring a natural gas reservoir discovered off the coast of Cyprus a commercial prospect.
Delek Group, along with its partners at Avner Oil Exploration and Noble Energy, said they submitted a declaration to the Cypriot government that reserves discovered in the Aphrodite prospect were considered of commercial quality.
"In addition, the Aphrodite reservoir partners intend to submit a proposed outline of the development plan of the Aphrodite reservoir to the government of Cyprus," they said in a joint statement.
Delek offered no indication of the reserve estimates in the Aphrodite reservoir. The Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus is considered frontier energy territory, though the offshore area could hold nearly 12 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.
Noble, which has headquarters in Houston, in 2013 announced a gas discovery while drilling into its Cyprus A-2 well in the Levant basin in the Mediterranean Sea.
The company said evaluation of drilling data led it to believe there may be as much as 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the entire Cyprus A region, one of the third largest field ever discovered in the Levant basin.
A recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration observed territorial disputes in the eastern Mediterranean could "jeopardize joint development of potential resources in the area and could limit cooperation over potential export options."
Cyprus is central to Israel's strategic planning in a region long dependent on imported energy because of its proximity to regional counterparts and the benefit of pooling export programs.