Firms exploring in the East Mediterranean appear more likely to go ahead with drilling after Egypt last week ratified a December 2013 agreement with Cyprus for the two countries to cooperate on exploiting any oil and gas discoveries that traverse their maritime border. “The Agreement defines the framework and the rules of cooperation between the two countries with regard to the development and joint exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves that are possibly intersected by the joint boundary of the EEZ of the two countries,” Cyprus state news agency CNA says.

Total and US firm Noble plan to drill at least one exploration well each on their Cyprus blocks bordering Egypt in the first half of 2015. Total has Blocks 10 and 11, while Noble has Block 12, site of the 5 tcf Aphrodite discovery (the only one made offshore Cyprus to date). The upcoming drilling will target a separate prospect, MEES understands (see map). (CONTINUED - 299 WORDS)