Onesiphoros, probably the most eagerly awaited drilling in East Med this year, left many with mixed feelings. After a series of hiccups and delays, Total finally initiated exploratory drilling in Cyprus, having also embarked Eni on board, an inestimable asset given its intimate knowledge of the area’s geology. The well targeted carbonate formations, similar to Zohr, in Block 11 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, right in front of the Shorouk block in Egypt’s EEZ where Zohr was discovered. It found a deposit containing less than 1 tcf of natural gas. Though too small to make it commercially viable, it did leave room for optimism as it confirmed the existence of natural gas in carbonate formations on the edges of the Eratosthenes Seamount.
This is only the first of a series of drillings that will be conducted in Cyprus’ EEZ over the coming months. Other operators are keeping a close eye on exploration in Block 11. They must be pleased to know Total’s drilling confirmed the existence of a carbonate reservoir. Total will decide, over the coming weeks, whether it intends to resume exploratory drilling in Block 11 or not. ExxonMobil, which holds exploration rights in neighboring Block 10, announced that it will be carrying out two drillings in the second half of 2018. Eni, for its part, is contractually bound to drill two wells by February 2018. It recently announced a drilling program, starting with a target in Block 8 in November 2017, followed by a second one in Block 3 (jointly-owned with KOGAS) and a third target in the extremely sensitive Block 6 (jointly-owned with Total), parts of which are claimed by Turkey.
With the completion of the Lebanese and Israeli licensing rounds expected in October and November, these are exciting times to be monitoring the oil and gas sector in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Cyprus Energy, Oil and Gas Summit
These and other topics will be on the agenda of the Cyprus Energy, Oil and Gas Summit. MESP is pleased to partner with the organizers for CEOGS 2017, which will be held under the theme ‘Meeting the Challenges Ahead’ in Limassol on 3-4 October 2017. The summit is hosted by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and will provide a platform for domestic and international stakeholders and investors to meet and engage, share ideas and form partnerships.
MESP subscribers and Beirut Energy Club members are entitled to a 10% discount on delegate rates when booking through MESP.