Cyprus and Chevron said they were committed to expediting development of the offshore Aphrodite gas field to supply European markets and Egypt.

Natural gas in the field, lying southeast of Cyprus, was discovered in 2011. It is estimated to contain about 4.5 Tcm of gas, but it is untapped.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing disruption of energy supplies has left European countries scrambling to find alternative sources of natural gas.

There will be on-site drilling of a new well in the coming months within the framework of an already approved development and production plan, the Cyprus Ministry of Energy and Chevron Cyprus said in a joint statement issued on July 21.

"Taking into account the prevailing energy environment and the potential for Cyprus and the wider eastern Mediterranean to significantly contribute to Europe's security of supply and diversification of sources, both parties remain committed to continue working together in order to expedite the timing of first gas from 'Aphrodite' to Egypt and to European markets," the statement issued in Nicosia said.

Part of the delay in developing Aphrodite lies in that a small part of the field stretches into Israel's maritime zone.

Chevron are partners in the Aphrodite field with Shell and Israel's NewMed Energy, which was formerly known as Delek Drilling. Chevron merged with independent operator Noble Energy, which had held stakes in the Cypriot field as well as in some Israeli ventures, in 2020.