ExxonMobil’s contracted Stena IceMax drillship is in place and is expected to commence drilling two wells back-to-back at the Delphine prospect in Block 10 offshore Cyprus (Exxon 60%, QP 40%). Marine Traffic shows the IceMax 20km from the maritime border with Egypt, northwest of Eni’s 21.5tcf Zohr discovery. It is due south of Eni’s January Calypso discovery in Block 6 which the firm confirmed is an extension of the ‘Zohr-like play’.

Exxon and partner QP were awarded the block in December 2016, which was the subject of considerable interest. Statoil (now Equinor) and a consortium of Eni and Total lost out to the US-major (MEES, 24 March 2017). Total drilled in the adjacent Block 11 in 2017 but failed to find marketable volumes of gas, while the French firm relinquished Block 10 in early 2015, before Zohr was discovered, when seismic failed to show any sizeable prospects. (CONTINUED - 145 WORDS)