Italian oil major Eni announced on Monday that it has made a significant gas discovery in the Cronos-1 well, located about 160 kilometres off the coast of Cyprus in block 6.
Block 6 is operated by Eni Cyprus holding 50 per cent stake, with TotalEnergies as a partner.
Preliminary estimates indicate about 2.5 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas in place, with significant additional upside that will be investigated by a further exploration well in the area.
The Cronos-1 well is the fourth exploration well drilled by Eni Cyprus and the second in Block 6, following the Calypso-1 gas discovery in 2018.
“The discovery of Cronos-1 creates the conditions to lead to the development of further potential volumes of gas in the region and represents one of the actions achieved by Eni in support of the supply of additional gas to Europe,” Eni said in a statement.
Eni has been operating in Cyprus since 2013. The company operates blocks 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9, and holds stakes in blocks 7 and 11 operated by TotalEnergies.
In a separate statement on Monday, TotalEnergies also said that the drilling of another exploration well on Block 6 has been planned.
“This successful exploration well at Cronos-1 is another illustration of the impact of our exploration strategy which is focused on discovering resources with low technical cost and low carbon emissions,” said Kevin McLachlan, senior vice president, exploration at TotalEnergies.
Cyprus Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said the Tungsten Explorer drillship in Block 6 operated at a depth of 2,287 metres, revealing the presence of a 260-metre column of pure natural gas, “with good to excellent quality characteristics”.
“Moreover, a new well is being drilled in Block 6, called Zeus-1, where additional quantities of gas may be discovered and add value to this discovery,” Pilides said.
She added that, thanks to the drilling operations, new conditions are being created to exploit natural gas in Cyprus’ EEZ and that the discovery of new resources in block 6 will aid the production of other gas fields like Aphrodite.
“For the time being, transporting natural gas to Egypt is the most prevalent scenario and even following the recent discoveries, no changes to the plans are in sight,” Pilides said.
She also mentioned the positive prospects identified by confirmatory drilling in block 10, adding that seismological studies were being carried out in blocks 10 and 5 to determine the exact quantities.
Abboud Zahr, Oil and Gas Specialist commented, that given the current
situation and the EU’s need to stop relying on Russian gas, the new discoveries
allow Europe to diversify its gas sources, although it will take several years
to materialize as the infrastructure building is a lengthy process. However,
this discovery will encourage the JV ENI/TotalEnergies as well as other players
in Cyprus, like ExxonMobil, to expedite their drilling campaigns, with the hope
to have a spill-over effect as well and see additional exploration drillings in
the Lebanese Waters.