The argument that created some difficulty in the development plan for “Aphrodite” gas field has been overcome, Energy Minister Yiorgos Papanastasiou said on Wednesday. He also announced that as regards fields ‘’Kronos I’’ and ‘’Kronos II’’ ENI’s CEO is set to visit Cyprus at end of April and the government is hoping to hear the company’s intentions.

Speaking to the press following the Cabinet’s meeting and asked if he is optimistic that the difficulties have been overcome regarding the development plan for “Aphrodite”, Papanastasiou said that the issue that created some difficulty has been overcome and there is a direction on the basis of the 2019 agreed development and production plan.

He said that when we reach that stage that will give a specific direction about the development plan, the government will provide more information publicly.

Asked if there was a timeline for a response to Chevron on the improved proposal to move the effort forward, he said that the government wishes to respond as soon as possible so that the planning for the joint venture with Chevron could begin.

Papanastasiou said that the improved proposal was sent to the government’s legal advisers and in the next few days there will be a response to Chevron.

Replying to another question, if they are satisfied with the provisions of the optimized proposal, the Minister replied that we have already exhausted the discussion on this matter and the company comprehends that the plan will be at the basis of the development and production plan as it was signed in 2019.

He said that he prefers not to go into more details as they decided at the Ministry to abstain from public statements, noting that the course to be followed is a specific one.

The Minister noted that the natural gas from this field should be released to the international markets, and we should focus on the substance rather than public statements, at this stage.

Asked about the dispute with Israel on block 12 and whether this dispute makes the effort more difficult, the Minister said that the government’s position is that any difficulty is not linked to the small deposit connected to ‘’Aphrodite’’ in Israel’s EEZ.

However, he noted, in his recent visit to Israel they agreed with his counterpart on an intergovernmental agreement to solve the matter, explaining that the companies were given the opportunity to reach an agreement but this did not succeed, so an agreement between the two states was reached.

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