Some 3 billion barrels of oil may lie in deepwater strata between Cypriot and Israeli offshore fields, US-based Noble Energy disclosed on Monday.
“Significant exploration potential remains on the Company’s acreage position in the Eastern Mediterranean, with approximately 3 billion barrels of gross unrisked oil potential in the deep Mesozoic play in both Cyprus and Israel and four trillion cubic feet gross of natural gas potential in Cyprus. Current plans are to resume exploration drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean in late 2014 or early 2015,” Noble said during a conference it hosted in Houston, Texas.
‘Unrisked’ is industry jargon for a crude estimate of reserves that does not factor in probabilities. It is a preliminary assessment derived from geological data from seismic surveys.
The news from Houston coincided with reports in the press here that Cyprus’ Block 12 may hold estimated oil reserves of between 1.2 and 1.4 billion barrels.
Phileleftheros reports that the reserves would translate into revenues of approximately €60bn for Cyprus.
Israeli news site Globes reported last month that updated estimates at Israel’s Leviathan field gave a 25 per cent probability of finding 1.5 billion barrels of oil beneath gas-bearing strata.
The Leviathan and Tamar fields in Israel, and Aphrodite in Cyprus, are the largest projects in which Noble Energy is involved in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Assuming 1.5 billion barrels are in Leviathan, the bulk of the remainder might presumably lie in Aphrodite.
In April 2010 the US Geological Survey estimated a mean of 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and a mean of 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in the Levant Basin using a geology-based assessment methodology.