Energy giant Total said on Thursday that it plans to carry out its first exploratory drilling for hydrocarbons offshore Cyprus around April next year.
Total E&P Cyprus and EDT offshore, an oil and gas services company, signed a contract where the latter will provide the former onshore logistics services out of the port of Limassol supporting Total’s drilling programme.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Yves Grosjean, country manager for Total E&P Cyprus, said the company was looking at an April 2017 timeframe for its first well.
Total has a concession on offshore Block 11.
In early 2015 Total relinquished Block 10, on which it had also held a concession, without drilling any wells. The company was released from its original two-well drilling commitment but maintained exploration rights in Block 11, agreeing to continue to evaluate 3D seismic data in a bid to locate a possible target.
The company’s interest in its Cyprus concession was renewed after the discovery of the largest to date gas reservoir in the eastern Mediterranean – the Zohr prospect in adjacent Egyptian waters.
In late August 2015, Italy’s ENI announced it had discovered the Zohr field holding an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas. ENI had taken a gamble, using a geological sequencing model tracking carbonate reservoirs rather than the classical sand-reservoir model.
Cyprus’ Block 11, operated by France’s Total since February 2013, lies about 6 kilometres from the Zohr discovery.
A geological map of the Cyprus-Egypt maritime border area shows a large ‘carbonate platform’ existing in the island’s southern offshore blocks of 10, 11 and 12, and in blocks 7 and 8, which lie in an uncontracted area known as the Eratosthenes mount.