Chevron to develop natural gas field off Cyprus

The Greek Cyprus government and U.S. energy company Chevron have reached a deal on how to develop the Aphrodite gas field, the first to be discovered under the seafloor off Cyprus, an official Friday. The field is estimated to hold 4.2 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The agreement is "mutually beneficial" for both Cyprus and the company, the Cypriot official told The Associated Press but did not disclose further details.

It was not immediately clear when the deal was reached. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the agreement publicly.

The Greek Cypriot energy ministry said in a statement Friday a letter from Chevron affirmed that both sides are in "alignment" regarding the "wider framework of the field's exploitation." The ministry added that they would "intensify discussions" in the coming weeks on the agreed-upon development plan "for the mutually beneficial exploitation" of the site.

Chevron wanted to send the gas to Egypt through a pipeline, but Greek Cyprus preferred to process it on a floating production facility because it would be more economically beneficial for the Greek Cypriot government and would lend more flexibility to supplying other markets.

The agreement ends protracted negotiations that stalled development of the field for years and now paves the way for extraction of the hydrocarbon after a dozen years since the deposit was discovered.

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