Cyprus: Eni Plans September Drilling, CNOOC Eyes Aphrodite Stake

A new round of natural gas exploration offshore Cyprus is due to begin in mid-September with Italy’s Eni set to kick-off the first of four wells planned across its three concessions (Blocks 2, 3 and 9 – see map). Eni has an 80% stake in the concession and Korean state-owned firm Kogas holds the rest.

Eni has committed to drill “at least four exploratory wells,” Cyprus Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis says. The exploration campaign will last 12-18 months, depending on initial results. Drilling was originally set to start in November, but was advanced following discussions with the Energy Ministry.

Nicosia is keen to make additional offshore gas discoveries sooner rather than later, with US firm Noble and Israeli partner Delek increasingly veering towards floating LNG as an exploitation option for their 2011, 5 tcf Aphrodite discovery on Cyprus’ Block 12, the only discovery so far offshore Cyprus (MEES, 13 June). (CONTINUED - 661 WORDS)