Noble says gas could meet Cyprus needs by 2016

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A senior Noble Energy official says the U.S. firm is looking at the possibility of piping offshore gas to Cyprus to meet the bailed-out country's domestic energy needs by mid-2016.

J. Keith Elliot told reporters Tuesday that this could happen if the Cyprus government commits to the project by the end of this year.

Elliot said a modified rig would be brought over from the Gulf of Mexico to extract gas from the field off Cyprus' south coast which would then be piped to an onshore power plant.

Noble and its Israeli partners Delek and Avner are now developing the field estimated to hold 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Elliot said Noble backs Cyprus' plan to build an onshore gas processing plant to export excess supply.

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