Energy companies ENI and Total have notified the government they are postponing their scheduled gas drilling operations off Cyprus for approximately one year.
Government spokesman Kyriacos Koushios confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that they recently received word of the delay from the two companies.
Drilling will be postponed until March or April 2021.
The ‘good news’, Koushios added, is that the companies are not canceling the capital expenditures allocated to the drills.
ENI and Total had planned to carry out exploratory drilling at a site dubbed Kronos in block 6 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, work had been due to start in early February, but was delayed owing to technical issues faced by the drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, while it was operating in Egyptian waters. The drillship then headed to Lebanese waters.
In mid-April, ExxonMobil had likewise informed the government they would be postponing a planned drill in their block 10 concession.
ExxonMobil said they pushed back to September 2021 an appraisal (or follow-up) well at the Glafcos site in block 10.
The Glafcos reservoir, bearing an estimated 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet of gas, is the largest gas discovery to date off Cyprus. The appraisal drilling there – initially scheduled for this summer – would have helped the company with its commercialisation decision.