May 24 2019

Cyprus-based firm seeks Mediterranean gas assets - Bloomberg

A Cyprus-based investment firm will spend between $5 billion and $10 billion in the coming years to buy under-utilised natural gas assets in the Eastern Mediterranean, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. 

Cynergy Group is in talks with global family offices, private equity firms and sovereign funds to raise cash for the acquisition, according to Chief Executive Officer Mike Germanos, Bloomberg said. 

In addition to gas assets in the territorial waters of Egypt and Israel, the company may also be targeting the Aphrodite and Glaucus-1 fields off Cyprus, the news wire reported. 

Cprus’ estimated 500 billion cubic meters of gas reserves are a source of political tensions between Nicosia and Ankara, with both sides opposing the other’s exploration and drilling in the region. The United States and European Union have become involved in the dispute, calling on Turkey to accept Cyprus’ right to explore in an economic zone off the island.

Neither Turkey nor the Turkish Republic of Cyprus, a breakaway state in the north recognised only by Turkey, have territorial claims over the Aphrodite gas reservoir, which is held by groups led by Shell, Noble and Exxon Mobil Corp, Bloomberg said. But Ankara says that the Turkish Cypriots should receive a fair share from hydrocarbon resources of the disputed island. 

Germanos said Cynergy aims to overcome longstanding political and legal hurdles and find viable export market in the region by consolidating the disparate assets of competing firms under a single owner, Bloomberg said.