By George Psyllides
ENI-KOGAS has not found enough commercially exploitable natural gas reserves in its first exploratory drill at the offshore Onasagoras field, the energy ministry said on Friday.
According to an official announcement, the joint venture will complete drilling within the next few days and move on to the Amathusa field, also located in bloc 9 of the Cyprus exclusive economic zone.
“Drillship Sapiem 10000 will continue as normal, the exploration programme that started last September,” the ministry said.
The Onasagoras drill reached the expected depth of 5,800 metres in what was the first of a series of drills by SAIPEM 10000.
The gas field was not the biggest potential prospect but one with the highest probability of success, according to industry sources.
ENI-KOGAS holds concessions on offshore blocs 2, 3 and 9.
Previous drills by Houston-based Noble Energy at the ‘Aphrodite’ well, in bloc 12, have come up with 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas.
It is understood, however, that privately the Americans have narrowed down the quantities to around 3.1 tcf
French energy giant Total has licences on blocs 10 and 11, which border Egyptian waters of the Nile Delta.
The area around ENI-KOGAS’ drill has become the focus of a dispute between Cyprus and Turkey, which dispatched its own research vessel to the area.
The move came after Ankara issued a maritime notice, or NAVTEX, reserving certain areas of the EEZ for surveys from October 20 to December 30.
Turkey’s action prompted President Nicos Anastasiades to pull out of reunification talks.