Eni made important gas discovery in block 6, minister says (Update-1)


(Updates with press release issued by Eni in first paragraph)

By Stelios Orphanides

Italy’s energy giant Eni said that it made a lean gas discovery off the coast of Cyprus after drilling an exploratory well at Calypso, the target of exploration in block 6 of the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“The well, which was drilled in 2,074 meters of water depth reaching a final total depth of 3,827 meters, encountered an extended gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age,” Eni said in a statement on its website on Thursday. “The Cretaceous sequence has excellent reservoir characteristics”.

An analysis of data following a collection of fluids and rock samples revealed that Calypso “is a promising gas discovery and confirms the extension of the ‘Zohr like’ play” into the Cypriot EEZ, the company said.

Lean gas, also known as dry gas, consists of more than 95 per cent methane and ethane as opposed to wet or rich gas, which contains more propane and butane.

Earlier, energy minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said the new finding of Eni, which in 2015 announced the discovery of Zohr, a mammoth gas finding of the coast of Egypt, was “important”.

“The news is positive,” Lakkotrypis said in a telephone interview. “Eni makes no public announcement if there is no discovery”.

He added that the purity of Calypso’s gas in methane and ethane exceeds 99 per cent.

The Italian energy firm, which owns 50 per cent the exploration and exploitation rights for block 6 in partnership with France’s Total, said “additional studies will be carried out to assess the range of the gas volumes in place and define further exploration and appraisal operations”.

The minister also declined to comment about size of the finding, which according to a previous Cyprus Mail report, is estimated between 170 to 230 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas, or 4.8 to 8.1 trillion cubic feet (tcf). By comparison, Aphrodite, discovered in 2011 and was until now, Cyprus’s single gas finding, contains only 4.5 tcf.

Still, “the discovery means two things,” Lakkotrypis continued, “Quantities are added to our reserves (and) it is huge deposit news for those who will drill in the future”.

It proved, which was re-affirmed with Onisiforos field, despite the negligible size of the finding, that there is an oil system similar to that of Zohr, Eni’s 2015 mammoth discovery off the coast of Egypt.

The Italian hydrocarbon company has also 100 per cent of the rights for block 8. It is also part of a consortium with Total for block 11 and with South Korea’s KoGas for blocks 2, 3 and 9 of the EEZ.

Eni’s drill ship is currently heading to Cuttlefish field, in block 3, for a new exploratory drill. In the second half of the year, the consortium of US ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum is scheduled to carry out two drillings in block 10. Important also for ExxonMobil which is set to launch drilling in the second half of the year, the minister said.





About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Barry White

    We await to be rich once again with the following announcements. As a note, someone in the various government ministries should point out to the Minister that “wet or rich” gas contrary to his statement is much more valuable than “lean or dry gas”. The Sheihk seems to have learned very little about the oil & gas industry and its economics in the years he has been occupying his “Chair”.

    • Philippos

      Intelligence is not necessarily a qualification required of a Government Minister. Such a person has to be able to communicate with people regarded as even less intelligent or less well informed than the Minister. By the time we get to that point, much has been lost in the “simplification” and “The People” do understand that all that they get is this persistent extrusion of the wrong kind of gas

      • Barry White

        An excellent example of reversion to the mean – in every sense of the word.

    • Sandie

      Is this another case of promising wealth/gas tomorrow?

      Jam tomorrow is an expression for a never-fulfilled promise. It originates from Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

    • elbmw

      It’s likely that the people of Cyprus will benefit about as much as the people of Britain have from North Sea Gas so don’t hold your breath waiting to be made “rich once again”. In every country, the oligarchs rule and benefit from “their” country’s natural wealth.

  • Costas

    this proves the TC and Turkish jealousy, of land grabbing and co ownership of Cypriot resources. The TC have no valid claim

    • European Citizen

      Your statement is a disgrace to your nation.

  • Pc

    Given that so many countries are now enacting plans to move away from fossil fuels, how much does this still matter?

    • Bystander

      Well, gas, is, apparently, on the table still. This thought is supported by current freight rates for LPG/LNG, as opposed to weak crude/condensate market.

      • TC-Nas

        Gas is deffo on the table, just Google Gas pipe line to Europe via Syria and you get a better understanding of why major powers are fighting a proxy war.

        • Bystander

          There is even more info on various party’s interests in Syria.

  • European Citizen

    Looking at how all these fields partially or fully belong to international energy enterprises, how much is Cyprus going to benefit really? It looks to me as if they will just extract what they want, and Cyprus will simply get an intangible “Thank You”.

    • elbmw

      If that’s how it looks to you perhaps you “Should’ve Gone to Specsavers”?

      • European Citizen

        “The Italian energy firm, which owns 50 per cent the exploration and exploitation rights for block 6 in partnership with France’s Total”

        “The Italian hydrocarbon company has also 100 per cent of the rights for block 8.”

        And this is just Eni. Total and other participants have huge chunks of the rights to exploitation and exploration. How is Cyprus planning to keep these giants accountable? Would Cyprus even know if there is oil in those deposits?

        If you think that Cyprus is getting 100% of the gas/oil to be found, you are deeply confused.

        • elbmw

          “The Italian hydrocarbon company has also 100 per cent of the rights for block 8.” …and high much did they purchase it for?

          And I never suggested that Cyprus will get 100% of the gas or anything else but I am certain that they would have received something for it.

          Now, if you are saying that Cypriots (excluding the state and its oligarchs/elites) will not benefit much or anything worth mentioning then we are in agreement but in this case there is a clear distinction between the state and the people.

          • European Citizen

            It was always implied that the governing elite will gather most incomes from the gas/oil, so I guess, indeed, we are in agreement.

  • Stanlio

    Obviously good news, which, eventually, will bring money into government coffers, diversify and expand the economy and provide rewarding jobs to many local people.

    More broadly, this will increase the geopolitical importance of the Republic of Cyprus. Already, we’ve seen how Turkey’s threats to stop Cyprus and various energy companies from exploring for gas have been greeted with contempt by the international community and made Turkey and its minions in the occupied areas a laughing stock. (Last year, Tashin Ertorogluglu, posing as ‘foreign minister’ for the KFC said the KFC would ‘shoot exploration ships’). I suppose it’s a pity for the Turk minority that they won’t be able to take part in this exciting development, but they’ve tied their future to Erdogan’s Islamo-fascism and will have to take the consequences.

    • elbmw

      “Obviously good news, which, eventually, will bring money into government coffers, diversify and expand the economy and provide rewarding jobs to many local people.”

      Government coffers? For sure. How much money will filter down through the economy is an entirely different matter. If we look at the other countries as an example you would have to say the answer is little if any, perhaps with the notable exception of Norway.

      • Stanlio

        Of course. But then let’s aspire to be Norway and not Nigeria. It’s a good problem to have, though.

        • elbmw

          I’ve never heard Cyprus described as a forward thinking and Scandinavian-like country but I have heard of a former president of Cyprus describing it as a “banana republic” which unfortunately brings it much nearer to Nigeria.

          Historically speaking, where money is involved logic and fairness do not come into the equation but I sincerely hope that your positive enthusiasm is met with righteousness.

          • Stanlio

            Let’s be serious. It’s natural to criticise the country you live in – unless you’re a Turk; but Cyprus is not nearer to Nigeria than Norway.

    • European Citizen

      Nikos, if you think that your little gas venture will attract any new investment before you pay back the honest people you robbed in 2013, you are deeply mistaken. No serious investor wants to have anything to do with Cyprus. Your greed and constant bashing of your nearest neighbour will inflict great pain onto your nation, but I guess you don’t care…

      Do you really think silly announcements like this make any difference? Show some results for once! Your gas is still underground and your closest neighbour is still angry. You can hardly control your cabinet and you think you can control a complex process of gas extraction and shipment? What a joke!

  • alexander reutersward

    Is it enough to make it profitable to extract, that is the question. .nobles discovery was equal to this one until they later had to adjust it to 4,5 or lower (clearly not enough to extract since its still in the ground after 5-6 years).