Eni-Total started drilling off Cyprus

Last week Cyprus Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said that the Eni-Total joint venture’s next exploration drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone will take place this month, as soon as the drilling ship concludes its work in Egypt.

On Monday, the Ministry of Energy announced that The Tungsten Explorer drillship arrived on location south-west of the island and started drilling work on the ‘Cronos-1’ prospect in block 6.

In statements on the sidelines of the Famagusta Business Forum, Pilides also said that ExxonMobil-Qatar Energy will begin seismic research in the summer, most probably within June, in Block 5 of Cyprus’ EEZ and probably some parts of Block 10 as well.

The minister further stressed that Cyprus has joined efforts to end EU energy dependency on Russian natural gas.

Responding to questions by journalists, Pilides noted that the Eni-Total joint venture will proceed with a second drilling in 2022.

She said there are continuous contacts with the EU, Cyprus has joined efforts to end EU energy dependency on Russian natural gas, “and we hope that we will have developments on this very soon.”

“Certainly the support by the EU and the fact that Cyprus, Israel and Egypt have joined the plans for the provision of natural gas to the EU is a very important development which we consider will help speeding up our own program,” she added.

The consortium of Total and ENI got the concession on Cyprus’ block 6 back in 2017, as part of the third licensing round. Eni holds a 50% participation interest and Total has the remaining 50%.

In 2018, a different exploration well drilled by ENI in block 6 led to the discovery of the ‘Calypso’ field – proving that the Zohr-type carbonate play extended into the Cyprus EEZ.