NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Bulgaria's foreign minister said Monday that Cyprus could eventually supply his country and other central European nations with natural gas to lessen the region's heavy dependence on Russian deliveries.
Kristian Vigenin said Cyprus could be key to an envisioned "north-south corridor" supplying gas to central Europe.
"Cyprus can play an important role in the project delivering gas to (liquefied natural gas) terminals in Greece and then from there this can bring gas up to Bulgaria, Romania and central Europe," Vigenin said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides.
Vigenin said Bulgaria can't fully replace Russian gas given its near total reliance on Moscow for the fossil fuel, but Cyprus could become a future supplier over the medium term. He cautioned much work remains to make that a reality.
Bulgaria imports around 106 billion cubic feet of gas annually. Cyprus has discovered one field off its southern coast estimated to hold 3.6 trillion to 6 trillion cubic feet of gas that US firm Noble energy and its Israeli partners Delek and Avner are looking to develop.