Israel's NewMed Energy, formerly Delek Drilling (part of Yitzhak Tshuva's Delek Group), which owns a 30% stake in the Aphrodite field, said drilling of the appraisal well is expected to take about three months. Other partners in the Aphrodite gas field, which holds about 124 billion cubic meters of natural gas, are US energy giant Chevron and Shell, which each own a 35% stake.
The Aphrodite gas field, located about 170 kilometers (about 105 miles) south of Limassol in Cyprus and 30 kilometers (about 18 miles) northwest of Israel's Leviathan gas reservoir, is one of the world's largest deepwater gas discoveries.
The drilling is intended to confirm estimates and then be used as a production well once development is complete.
Earlier this year, Leviathan field partners NewMed Energy, Chevron and Ratio Oil Corp, announced plans to boost annual gas production and exports in 2025 to meet growing demand. Currently, a maximum capacity of up to 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, or 12 billion cubic meters per year, is pumped from the Leviathan reservoir to supply and sell natural gas to Israel, Egypt and Jordan.
Both Israel and Egypt have emerged as natural gas exporters in recent years following major offshore discoveries as Europe is determined to wean itself off its dependence on Russian gas imports.
Last June, Israel and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Union that will see Israel export its natural gas to the bloc for the first time. Under the agreement, Israeli gas could be supplied to the EU through Egypt's LNG plants.
NewMed Energy said the appraisal drilling is being done to confirm estimates of the nature and size of the Aphrodite gas field, currently estimated at 4.4 trillion cubic feet, and marks a "significant step forward." towards its development.
In September, the gas field partners approved a budget of approximately $192 million for the implementation of the drilling and for the execution of the engineering work required to develop the natural gas field.
The total cost of the development plan, including the cost of installing the pipelines to the target markets, is estimated at approximately $3.6 billion.
The partners seek to supply natural gas from the Aphrodite field to the domestic Cyprus market and export natural gas by pipeline to other markets, including the Egyptian market and the global LNG market. Natural gas supply from the Aphrodite reservoir is expected in 2027 at the earliest, according to NewMed Energy.
In November 2019, the Government of Cyprus granted the partners in the "Aphrodite" natural gas field, located in Block 12 within the country's offshore exclusive economic zone, a production license for 25 years, with the option of extending the term for another 10 years.
From the above it is clear that Egypt, together with Israel, will play a very important role in supplying the EU with natural gas.
Turkey is sidelined by the US-EU who participate as permanent observers in the EMFG, which is an international organization established by uniting the countries of the region against Turkey as a result of its aggressive foreign policy in the eastern Mediterranean, under the doctrine of " Blue Homeland", which defines the limits of Turkey's maritime jurisdiction in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean under a maximalist approach
EMFG was formed by Egypt, Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine in 2019.