Huge gas find off Cyprus whets appetites
Another huge natural gas field has been discovered off the southern coast of Cyprus. Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pileidou has announced that an estimated 70 billion cubic metres of good quality gas had been located, but significant technical hurdles must be overcome before it can be exploited. In 2011, large fields were discovered further east in Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone, but the country is locked in a dispute with Turkey over their exploitation.
A model for Greece
Naftemporiki casts an envious eye in the direction of its small neighbour:
“Cyprus has achieved a clear lead over Greece in the gas sector thanks to its speed, resolute political decision-making and clear goals. ... Ten to twelve years ago it decided to explore and drill in the waters off its southern coast. Now it stands every chance of being able to market natural gas in less than five years. That will allow it to take full advantage of the window of opportunity before the energy market switches completely to clean fuels. ... According to the latest data, Greece, by contrast, has fallen behind in energy investments and is in danger of dropping out of the race altogether.”
Nicosia betting on the wrong horse
Phileleftheros columnist Xenia Tourki sees the discovery as the result of a bad investment:
“We are a blessed place. We have a lot of sunshine most of the year and a lot of wind most of the time. But instead of using it we waste valuable time talking about gas pipelines and begging for investments that are difficult to implement, while we could solve many of our problems by investing in renewables. In this way, we would not only avoid a mini-heart attack every time we look at our electricity bill but we would also have taken important steps to combat climate change.”