Friday, March 10, 2017

Total-Eni forge Cyprus alliance - IN CYPRUS / CYPRUS WEEKLY

March 10, 2017

Italian energy major Eni has finalised a farm-in agreement with France’s Total to acquire 50% participating interest of Block 11, offshore Cyprus.

The agreement, in which Total remains operator of the block, has been approved by the Cabinet.

Under this deal Eni further reinforces its own position in Cyprus exploration, acquiring the right of exploring an area of 2,215 km2, nearby the super giant Zohr discovery in the Egyptian offshore.

The rights on Block 11 were assigned by the Republic of Cyprus to Total back in 2013 at the conclusion of the second international bid round. The exploration well is expected to be drilled in the Block within 2017.
Eni said this agreement is part of the firm’s strategy aimed at increasing its own exploration portfolio in the strategic area of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Eni has been present in Cyprus since 2013 and holds exploration rights on Blocks 9, 3, 2 (Eni 80% operator, Kogas 20%) awarded in the second licensing round.

It has also been chosen, in the third round, as selected bidder for Block 6 (Eni 50% operator, Total 50%) and Block 8 (Eni 100% operator).

US energy giant ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum, Eni and Total have successfully bid for rights to explore for oil and gas off the coast of Cyprus, officials said Tuesday.

The contracts, part of the Mediterranean island’s third licensing round, will be approved by the cabinet on March 17, Cyprus trade minister George Lakkotrypis told reporters.

Eni and Total jointly negotiated a licence for a block off the island’s south coast while Eni secured another on its own. ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum successfully bid for a third.

“This is a very important development for both the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone and the eastern Mediterranean in general,” said Lakkotrypis.

“It reinforces the prospect for hydrocarbons in the area,” he added. “You will find that companies are quite optimistic as to the prospects for the eastern Mediterranean, and more specifically the Cypriot EEZ.”

Some of the firms could begin exploratory drilling this year, Lakkotrypis said.

A huge gas find by Eni in Egypt’s offshore Zohr field in 2015 has raised hopes of more untapped energy in the waters between Cyprus and North Africa.