Cyprus’ energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis announced on 3 October that Nicosia is putting its offshore Block 7 on offer for a month. The Cyprus government hopes to capitalize on Italian firm Eni’s January Calypso discovery in the neighboring Block 6 to the west, as well as the Italians’ 21.5tcf Zohr discovery due south on the other side of the Cyprus-Egypt maritime border (see map and MEES, 2 February).

Eni’s confirmation that Calypso is a “Zohr-like play” has alerted the firms operating in the adjacent blocks. Eni operates Block 8 to the east and Block 6 with French major Total a 50% partner, while Total operates Block 11 to the south with Eni the 50% partner. To the south-west ExxonMobil is preparing to drill two wildcats in its Block 10 which it operates with 20% partner Qatari state oil firm QP (MEES, 4 May). MEES understands ExxonMobil, Total and Eni have all expressed firm interest in taking the block. (CONTINUED - 152 WORDS)