Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company CEO Dr. Charles Ellinas delivered a seminar in EMU upon the invitation of Cyprus Policy Center Executive Director and EMU Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen. During his speech, Dr. Ellinas stated that there is a huge decrease in natural gas prices in 2015 but better results are expected in 2016. Dr. Ellinas also added that the market has gone worse due to America’s current exporter position for the first time in history and the lift of embargoes on Iran. Additionally the current situation of Egypt as a country, which currently exports natural gas, instead of importing it in the past, and the ever increasing terrorist attacks have all posed a negative effect on the market.
Parallel to these developments encountered at the global natural gas market, Cyprus gas is losing its profitability due to the low productivity of Cyprus’s Aphrodite gas. According to Dr. Ellinas, energy companies make their investments to gain more profit, not for political reasons. Stating that the interest paid to Cyprus gas by international companies has been quite high, Dr. Ellinas added that short term profits are essential for the continuation of the investments.
Turkey’s current conflict with Russia has naturally elevated the importance of Cyprus gas, which can cater for half of Turkey’s annual demand. Israel’s Leviathan gas is also another alternative for Turkey. However, in order for the Israel’s Leviathan gas to be sold to Turkey, it still has to go through Cyprus. The biggest priority here is the need for a solution to Cyprus conflict. Dr. Ellinas also stated that the replacement of gas from Russia with Iran gas is almost impossible due to its high price.