Exploratory drilling is set to take place in block 11 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the first two weeks of July, a top Total official said, on Thursday.
Eleanor Rowley, Total’s VP of Exploration, MENA region, was addressing a ceremony, at the Presidential Palace, during which the contracts for exploration and production sharing for blocks 6 and 8 within Cyprus’ EEZ were signed.
“I’m happy to say that this will be the first test of the Zohr play in Cypriot waters. So we are very excited to operate this well along with our partners ENI,” she said.
She added that her company is looking forward to go ahead with an exploratory drill in block 6 within 2018 in the framework of its joint venture with ENI, noting that the seismic data for block 6 had already been acquired.
“We are looking to spot a well in block 6 area within 2018. This well will be operated by ENI so we look forward to further testing the Zohr play in that block,” she said.
Rowley also said that the company very much looks forward to have a strong exploration programme in 2017 and 2018 in Cyprus.
In his speech during the ceremony Vice President of ENI for Southern Europe, Carlo Vito Russo, said that the signing was an important event for the companies, for Cyprus and for the entire East Mediterranean region.
As he said the signature of the contracts for blocks 6 and 8, will allow the companies to verify the potential of Cyprus’ EEZ and if drilling will be successful as in other parts of the region as Egypt and Israel.
“This is important for the development of Cyprus for the partners of the joint venture and also for the entire region,” he said adding that the only way to know it is to start to drill in the two blocks. As he said ENI with its partners as operators in the two blocks, are ready to do it as soon as possible.
In his address Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said that ENI’s and Total’s continued commitment in the Cypriot EEZ despite the challenges faced by the global oil & gas industry creates optimism for its prospects.
He also noted that it is particularly important that the two companies are joining forces in block 6 just as they recently did in the licensed block 11.
“Both companies possess extensive expertise in the field of hydrocarbons, as well as experience in the Eastern Mediterranean, and by submitting ambitious applications in the 3rd Licensing Round they have opted to further strengthen their presence in our EEZ and, consequently, in the wider region. Of particular significance for the quality of their exploration programmes is the fact that they join forces in Block 6, a strategic move they have also made recently in Block 11,” said Lakkotrypis.
The Minister noted said that with today’s signing of the exploration and production sharing contracts, as well as the hydrocarbons exploration licenses, for blocks 6 and 8 in Cyprus’ EEZ, the 3rd Licensing Round is officially concluded.
“The Republic of Cyprus, by exercising its sovereign rights, continues unabated to implement its strategy for advancing the exploration and exploitation of its offshore wealth,” he said.
The consortium of ENI Cyprus Limited and Total E&P Cyprus B.V. is licensed for Block 6, while ENI Cyprus Limited for Block 8. On Wednesday Cyprus’ government signed a contract for Block 10 with consortium ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum.
Representatives of ENI and Total had earlier a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace.
SOURCE / CNA