The energy minister of Cyprus, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, announced on Monday that a move by British oil and gas company BG International to buy a stake in Cyprus’ offshore mineral deposits was an important step forward for the country’s plans to supply Egypt with natural gas, reported the Daily Star.

Lakkotrypis said the US company Noble Energy has cut a deal with BG International for a 35% stake in a block where a field estimated to contain more than 4tcf of gas has been found. He described the deal as a vote of confidence on the commercial prospects of Cyprus’ offshore gas deposits.

He added that it also boosts the chances of developing the gas field since BG operates a gas processing plant in Idku, Egypt. “It’s very important that commercial interests are becoming aligned with our efforts to supply gas to Egypt,” Lakkotrypis said.

For its part BG also said in a statement Monday that the field offshore Cyprus “provides a potential source of gas to Egypt.”

According to Rigzone the BG announcement concerned Block 12, offshore Cyprus, which contains the Aphrodite gas field that was discovered in December 2011.

The statement also confirmed that a stake in Aphrodite meant a potential source of gas to Egypt where the firm has equity positions in the LNG export facility at Idku as well as LNG offtake rights to lift 3.6m tons per annum.

Rigzone had learned previously that Cyprus was keen to involve Israeli and Egyptian gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean into an overall export solution, given statements made by Cyprus’s Ambassador to Israel at the Universal Oil & Gas 2015 conference held in Tel Aviv last week.

No financial terms have been disclosed so far while Noble will remain the block’s operator and keep a 35% stake in it, leaving the Israeli companies Delek and Avner with 15% each. BG, moreover, is being taken over by Royal Dutch Shell.