Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90
An aeriel view of the 'Tamar' gas processing rig 24 km off the southern Israeli coast of Ashkelon. Noble Energy and Delek are the main partners in the Tamar gas field, estimated to contain 10 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Israel and Cyprus will take their disagreement over the distribution of gas in the joint Aphrodite reservoir to international arbitration, according to a report published by Globes.

The two countries have been negotiating over the reservoir since 2010.

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Energy ministers from Israel, Greece and Cyprus are to meet next week to discuss a unitization agreement in addition to construction of an undersea gas pipeline connecting Israel and Europe.

The Aphrodite natural gas reservoir is located mostly on the Cypriot side of the maritime border, but some of it also lies within the Yishai license on the Israeli side. Noble Energy and the Delek Group are the main partners of both Cyprus’s Aphrodite reservoir and Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan gas fields.

Because the gas in the Yishai prospect is part of a single geological reservoir, its production depends on agreements between both countries, according to Globes.

The amount of natural gas in the reservoir is estimated at approximately 7 to 10 BCM on the Israeli side, and 100 BCM on the Cypriot side, according to the Israel Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources.

“There are negotiations that have unfortunately been going on for years, but we recently reached an agreement with the Cypriots that seems reasonable to us. Based on the figures provided by the two sides, the international arbitrator will rule what percentages Israel and Cyprus will receive,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said. The agreement would be subject to approval by both governments.

Both sides are motivated to bring this dispute to a close, since a number of export agreements for Aphrodite gas are at the end stage prior to signing.

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