ExxonMobil will be drilling at two sites within Block 10 within the second half of 2018, the global energy giant announced on Wednesday.
Speaking to the press in Nicosia, the company’s Vice President for Europe, Russia, and Caspian, Tristan Aspray said that preparation to support the drilling is already underway.
He said the two drillings would be taking place back to back, with further exploration depending on the outcome of these.
Aspray noted that the Zohr and Leviathan finds have created cause for optimism, adding that ExxonMobil is also pleased with the commitment shown by the Cyprus government so far.
He also noted that ExxonMobil reckons that gas demand will increase in Europe and, to an even greater degree, Asia.
Europe, meanwhile, will be fed more by LNG than pipelines, he said.
Aspray noted European production is already declining and the imports from Russia and Caspian sea will not be enough to cover the needs. Their projections put up to 2040 as the deadline.
ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum filed the winning bid for block 10 in the island’s third oil and gas round.
Referring to the proximity of parts of Cyprus’ EEZ to Zohr, Aspray said there were significant exploration possibilities. However, he said there is “still considerable uncertainty about drilling results, as geology can change significantly over short distances”.
Referring to the advantages of Cyprus, he said the island had a clear vision for its hydrocarbons resources, while the company could offer its worldwide experience in major international projects, technology, access to the global market, financial capability and staffing.
Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis also attended the press conference on Wednesday.
Having signed an exploration and production sharing contract for Block 10 of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus with the state, the ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum consortium of companies share by Cyprus’ vision to see the Mediterranean island becoming an energy centre.