Cyprus Drilling Plans: Make Or Break?

The next 15 months could be make or break for any hopes of discovering large quantities of gas offshore Cyprus beyond 2011’s 5 tcf Aphrodite, which currently looks stranded. Eni and ExxonMobil each plan two wells on their offshore Cyprus permits by end-2018 (see table). In the absence of discoveries, the exploration pipeline looks bare beyond this.

The US major is targeting a ‘Zohr-like’ play offshore Cyprus. “We use our 3D seismic imaging data, recently acquired, and regional geological understanding to determine which formations to target,” ExxonMobil’s Europe VP Tristan Aspray tells MEES.

The only well drilled so far this year (indeed since early 2015) saw Total in July hit small sub-commercial quantities of gas on Block 11 ( MEES, 15 September ). Panos Kelamis, CEO of Cyprus state gas firm CHC, speaking at the Cyprus Oil and Gas Summit on 3 October in Limassol says the confirmation of the existence of a ‘Zohr-like’ carbonate reservoir offshore Cyprus is “very promising.” In plain English it was a flop. Previous drilling had focused on sandstone plays resulting in Aphrodite, Cyprus’ only discovery to date, and the nearby Israeli Tamar and Leviathan.


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