An event organized by the Cyprus-Austria Business Association was organized with big success with guest speaker Mr. Richard Schenz, Vice President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber of Commerce & Industry and former CEO of the OMV firm, the biggest Austrian company in the field of natural gas and oil. The subject of the speech of Mr Schenz was “International developments in the oil and natural gas market – The Cyprus Story”.
In a brief welcome address the President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mr Phidias Pilides, said the discovery of natural gas in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone is a welcome development which will give a boost to the Cyprus economy and will place Cyprus in the world energy map.
The Ambassador of Austria in Cyprus H.E. Mr Martin Weiss, referred to the excellent political and economic relations of the two countries, noting that the Cyprus-Austria bilateral trade is recording an upward course in recent years.
Mr Nicos Kyriakides, President of the Cyprus-Austria Business Association, spoke about the very good trade and investment relations between the two countries and the interest shown by Austrian companies for investments in Cyprus during the Business Forum organized last year in Vienna by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Tourism and the Cyprus-Austria Business Association.
In his presentation Mr Schenz spoke about the prospects which are opening up for the Cyprus economy following the discovery of considerable deposits of natural gas in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone and the increasing world demand for natural gas. Mr. Schenz said in most cases the size of the deposits is far larger than the first indications and so he expressed his evaluation that the final quantity of the natural gas deposit in site 12 will exceed the quantity which has been announced by the Noble firm.
Mr. Schenz referred to the world demand for energy, which will increase by 40% by 2025 compared to the energy demand in 2003, adding that 80% of world energy generation comes from oil and natural gas.
In the European Union there is a continuously increased demand for natural gas for producing electricity as EU countries are trying to reduce emissions of gases and to reach the targets set by the EU for 2020. He said that the use of natural gas for generating electricity has increased from 9% in 1990 to 23% in 2009.
Regarding liquefied natural gas (LNG) he said that it is cheaper than gas transferred through oilpipes, as the latter is linked to the oil prices, while the price of LNG is based on a different formula. After referring to the various stages of the process of extraction and exploitation of the liquefied natural gas Mr Schenz said that the most profitable market for the Cyprus gas in Europe is South Europe where there are many terminals for re-liquification of natural gas. On the contrary North Europe imports natural gas through pipes from Russia, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Answering questions he said that it is most likely that natural gas will also be found in the other sites of the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus as the theory that exists among specialists is that where there is natural gas there are always additional deposits. Finally, Mr Schenz said that it is most likely that oil also exists below the natural gas deposits.