ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, consortium partners in Block 10 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone have found “high-quality natural gas” in the ‘Glaucus-2’ appraisal well, the energy ministry said Monday.

In a statement, the ministry said that operations in the EEZ included production testing.

“The consortium will proceed with a detailed analysis and evaluation of the data collected to more accurately determine the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the reservoir, as well as potential development and commercialisation of the discoveries,” it added.

The joint venture must submit their final data as soon as they complete their assessment.

Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum received the exploration concession on offshore Block 10 back in 2017. In February 2019 they announced the discovery of 5-8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas at the ‘Glaucus-1’ site.

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However, according to newspaper sources the data from the second confirmation drilling so far do not seem to be very encouraging for the existence of this quantity of natural gas.

The drill at the ‘Glaucus-2’ site was the first in Cypriot waters after the interruption brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Appraisal drilling at ‘Glaucus-2’ got underway on December 20 last year.

Work was conducted by the Stena Forth drillship, which departed the area on Sunday evening for its next contract in Canada.

Exxon Mobil is the operator and holds a 60 per cent interest in the block. Qatar Petroleum International Upstream OPC holds 40 per cent interest.

Block 10 is located southwest of the island, bordering Egypt’s maritime zone.

As of Monday, Exxon had not posted a press release regarding the ‘Glaucus-2’ appraisal drill on their website.

Meanwhile Energy Minister Natasa Pilides has said that the ENI-Total consortium will proceed with a drill within the year, while seismic work will begin on Block 5 by ExxonMobil to see if there is a link with Block 10 and if there are prospects in that area.

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar was quick to respond to the news.

“We will not impinge on other people’s rights but will not accept the violation of our own,” he said.