Cyprus Exploration Activities back on track

The consortium holding the concession on block 10 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone are making final preparations for appraisal drilling to narrow down the precise quantities of natural gas in place, with the results expected sometime in spring 2022, Cyprus Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said Thursday.

She was speaking at a press conference she called taking stock of the energy ministry’s work over the past year.

Pilides said other offshore exploratory projects are likewise getting back on track following the delays caused by the coronavirus situation, stressing that the government is prepared to deal with any Turkish provocations on the high seas.

Regarding the ‘Glafcos’ reservoir in block 10, she said the consortium of Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum are almost ready to launch an appraisal drill at the site.

Final preparations are underway for the drillship and the crew.

Work would take several months, she added.

“Certainly we do not expect results – in terms of the quantities – before February to March 2022,” the minister said.

On how the reservoir’s gas would be commercialised, Pilides said a number of options are on the table, depending on the final quantities – although piping the gas to a terminal in Egypt was the likeliest scenario.

Asked about Turkish reactions, the minister said that these are being monitored and that “all actions are being taken by the President of the Republic and the Foreign Ministry.

“We believe the drilling programme will proceed uninterrupted, and that any Turkish provocations will be dealt with through diplomacy and the tools that international law affords us.”

The initial drill at ‘Glafcos’ had found between five and eight trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Moving on to the ‘Aphrodite’ reservoir in block 12 – discovered in late 2011 – Pilides said she has met with the licence holders who are assessing the economic and technical data they inherited from the previous operator, Noble Energy.
Chevron bought out Noble in July 2020.

‘Within the first months of 2022 we expect to have specific proposals from the company as to whether they can find synergies with projects underway in Israel or in Egypt, so that development of the reservoir can proceed as soon as possible.”

But as things stand, the ‘Aphrodite’ gas would most likely end up in Egypt.

On the joint venture of ENI and Total, holding the concession on block 6, Pilides said they plan a new drill in the first half of 2022, possibly in the first quarter.