NICOSIA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus and a consortium led by U.S.-based Noble Energy company have concluded an agreement on the terms of exploiting a natural gas field from which gas will be exported to Egypt, Cypriot state television reported on Tuesday.
Citing a competent government source, it said the two sides have ironed out pending issues relating to the ratio of participation of the sides involved in the revenue from the selling of natural gas, adding that what is left is to couch the deal in legal jargon.
Noble Energy leads the operation for sending gas to Egypt after building an undersea pipe, in association with British Gas and Israeli Delek Drilling, each of the three companies holding about one third of the share.
Noble Energy asked the Cypriot government last year to renegotiate the revenue sharing agreement for the 4.5 trillion cubic feet Aphrodite gas finding.
Aphrodite lies in block 12 of Cyprus's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and it is Cyprus's first gas finding, discovered in 2011.
Noble Energy, citing increased development costs, had asked for a reduction in the share of the Cypriot government in the proceeds for the sale of gas.
The original agreement provided for a 60 percent share for the companies and a 40 percent share for the Cypriot government.
Noble Energy had asked for the ratio to be changed to 70:30. State television did not give any clue as to which extent the government had accommodated the consortium's request.
Government sources said after the request was made seven months ago that Cyprus would be willing to renegotiate the deal, provided the companies agreed on a fixed time frame in relation to the commencement of the field's exploitation.
Development of the gas reservoir would run for roughly 15 years.