The Egyptian and Cypriot governments have agreed to cooperate in exploring offshore oil and gas in the waters between the two countries.
Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ossama Kamal, stated during his meeting with the Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Neoclis Sylikiotis, that Egypt will send a delegation to Cyprus to pursue cooperation, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Kamal said the Cypriots asked to use Egyptian expertise in reaching gas and oil discovery agreements, especially in deep water, and also in the seismic surveying.
The Cypriot minister said his country signed the first agreement to demarcate its maritime borders with Egypt in 2003.
Sylikiotis also stated that Cyprus will send a technical delegation to Egypt next month, confirming that there are various areas of potential cooperation between the two countries, namely in the fields of infrastructure for oil and gas production, the protection of maritime environment and the exchange of expertise.
Many experts expressed worries however, concerning the relationship between Cyprus and Israel in energy filed.
Petroleum engineering professor Ramadan Abo El-Ela called on the Egyptian government to consider the political aspect in its relation with Cyprus, confirming that Cyprus enjoys a special relationship with Israel regarding deepwater gas exploration and exploitation.
Abo El-Ela added that the petroleum ministry must coordinate with the president and the foreign ministry before taking any steps.
A source in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources stated that demarcation of the maritime borders between Egypt and its neighbours took place according to international law and through joint committees comprising of experts from Egypt and neighbouring countries.
The source stated that Cyprus and Israel had not discovered any oil fields in Egyptian Waters and that the maps of the Egyptian maritime territory are drawn by experts from the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reported Al-Ahram.