(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.
“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.
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.