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ENI drilling results expected soon

One of ENI's Sapiem vessels

The ENI-KOGAS consortium will announce “soon” the results of their exploratory drilling at the offshore Amathusa prospect, energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Tuesday.

He was speaking to oil and gas industry players at the 2015 Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference in Nicosia, organised by Gulf Publishing Company with Noble Energy as the lead sponsor.

A previous drill by ENI-KOGAS in another prospect, Onasagoras, did not find enough gas.

On Total, which has concessions on offshore blocks 10 and 11, Lakkotrypis said the company would continue with geological and geochemical surveys.

An updated bilateral agreement between the French energy giant and the government would be signed shortly, the minister said.

Back in January, the government announced that Total could abandon a search for oil and gas off Cyprus after failing to find tangible evidence of reserves. The government was nevertheless keen to keep the company’s Cyprus operations going.

After the disappointing results, the government is now focusing on the Aphrodite prospect in Block 12, operated by Noble Energy.

Earlier in the day, the government revealed that Noble would be declaring gas reserves discovered in Aphrodite commercially viable sometime in the next few weeks as well as submit a development plan.

“I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this,” Lakkotrypis noted.

Due to the size of the Aphrodite play, which holds proven reserves of between 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet (tcf), it’s understood that a pipeline is the likeliest development option.

Ben Dillon, Noble’s Vice President for Communications and Government Relations, reiterated that his company intends to commercialize the Aphrodite gas both through exports as well as supplies to Cyprus for domestic electricity generation.

Under the agreement with Noble, Cyprus is part-owner of any gas discovered.

Dillion went on to say that “Noble remains committed” to the eastern Mediterranean despite difficulties encountered with Israeli authorities over tax and anti-trust issues.

So far Noble has discovered 40 tcf of gas in the eastern Med, the bulk of which in Israeli fields.

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