Drilling Results in Block 10 will determine the Future of Cyprus Hydrocarbon Sector

ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum next appraisal well drilling in Cyprus offshore block 10 will determine the gas quantities located in the reservoir there. The results, expected during the first quarter of 20222,  will set the speed of the exploitation of the hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides has said.

Addressing the 9th Energy Symposium in Nicosia, the Cypriot Minister also expressed the view that natural gas should remain a transitory fuel as the EU progresses to the green transition despite views expressed that this should be banned from the energy mix.

“The next drilling is something we eagerly await with high expectations, because surely the hydrocarbon quantities in our offshore blocks will determine to a large extent the speed and the way of exploitation of the hydrocarbons in the Cypriot EEZ,” Pilides said.

Next month, the US-Qatari consortium is expected to carry out an appraisal well in the “Glafcos” gas find in block 10 which is estimated to carry a reservoir between 5 and 8 trillion cubic feet. Block 10 was relinquished by the French company Total four years ago as “no gas potential was expected in the block”. It is situated few kilometers away from the Egyptian Zohr field were the biggest gas discovery (30 TCF) in the Mediterranean Sea was made.

However, Pilides said that “the scene has changed” in the energy field, noting that the EU Green Deal, as well as the fit for 55 package, “places particular pressure so our targets have become more auspicious.”

“This is something we need to take into account in our plans for reducing CO2 to 50 per cent from 40 per cent,” she added noting that the government is following a holistic approach utilizing the funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Addressing the symposium, President of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou said that Cyprus is key to the region’s energy map, noting that the island is called on to play a catalytic role in the energy development of the region due to its geographic position.

Demetriou also highlighted the importance of cooperation initiatives, noting that cooperation agreements with Greece, Israel, Egypt and Lebanon should be implemented.

“Regional cooperation in the energy field based on the law of the sea and the principles of good neighbourliness constitute a very important factor in tackling instability and conflicts which affect our region traditionally and especially in the last years,” she stressed.

The House President also stressed that “Turkish goals to hamper Cyprus’ strategic cooperation in energy by disputing the Republic’s sovereignty within its EEZ require stronger representations towards the international community so that the latter would firmly respond to prevent (Turkish) threats and illegal actions in the Republic of Cyprus’ territorial waters, the EEZ and continental shelf.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Ankara which asserts that Cyprus has no EEZ has repeatedly illegally blocked vessels from carrying out exploration activities in licensed blocks of its EEZ.

ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum next appraisal well drilling in Cyprus offshore block 10 will determine the gas quantities located in the reservoir there. The results, expected during the first quarter of 20222,  will set the speed of the exploitation of the hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides has said.

Addressing the 9th Energy Symposium in Nicosia, the Cypriot Minister also expressed the view that natural gas should remain a transitory fuel as the EU progresses to the green transition despite views expressed that this should be banned from the energy mix.

“The next drilling is something we eagerly await with high expectations, because surely the hydrocarbon quantities in our offshore blocks will determine to a large extent the speed and the way of exploitation of the hydrocarbons in the Cypriot EEZ,” Pilides said.

Next month, the US-Qatari consortium is expected to carry out an appraisal well in the “Glafcos” gas find in block 10 which is estimated to carry a reservoir between 5 and 8 trillion cubic feet. Block 10 was relinquished by the French company Total four years ago as “no gas potential was expected in the block”. It is situated few kilometers away from the Egyptian Zohr field were the biggest gas discovery (30 TCF) in the Mediterranean Sea was made.

However, Pilides said that “the scene has changed” in the energy field, noting that the EU Green Deal, as well as the fit for 55 package, “places particular pressure so our targets have become more auspicious.”

“This is something we need to take into account in our plans for reducing CO2 to 50 per cent from 40 per cent,” she added noting that the government is following a holistic approach utilizing the funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Addressing the symposium, President of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou said that Cyprus is key to the region’s energy map, noting that the island is called on to play a catalytic role in the energy development of the region due to its geographic position.

Demetriou also highlighted the importance of cooperation initiatives, noting that cooperation agreements with Greece, Israel, Egypt and Lebanon should be implemented.

“Regional cooperation in the energy field based on the law of the sea and the principles of good neighbourliness constitute a very important factor in tackling instability and conflicts which affect our region traditionally and especially in the last years,” she stressed.

The House President also stressed that “Turkish goals to hamper Cyprus’ strategic cooperation in energy by disputing the Republic’s sovereignty within its EEZ require stronger representations towards the international community so that the latter would firmly respond to prevent (Turkish) threats and illegal actions in the Republic of Cyprus’ territorial waters, the EEZ and continental shelf.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Ankara which asserts that Cyprus has no EEZ has repeatedly illegally blocked vessels from carrying out exploration activities in licensed blocks of its EEZ.

Total and ENI are expected to drill in their licensed blocks additional wells during 2022 as well.