Cyprus Mail

Total-ENI gas drilling underway in Cyprus’ block 6

tungsten explorer

Exploratory drilling for natural gas in waters off Cyprus is currently underway, the government said on Monday.

The well is being drilled by the Tungsten Explorer rig on behalf of Total and ENI – the companies with the concession on offshore block 6 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.

Work at the site, dubbed ‘Cronos-1’, was initially scheduled to take place in the spring of 2020, but put on hold because of the Covid situation.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, work had been due to start in February 2020. It was delayed owing to technical issues faced by the same rig, the Tungsten Explorer, while operating in Egyptian waters. The drillship then headed to Lebanese waters.

Later that year, ENI and Total informed the Cyprus government they were postponing the drill at ‘Cronos’.

ENI at the time said it was reviewing its activities in 2020 and 2021, as well as all its energy projects in the Middle East, with the aim of reducing capital expenditures.

The consortium of Total and ENI got the concession on Cyprus’ block 6 back in 2017, as part of the third licensing round.

In 2018, a different exploration well drilled by ENI in block 6 led to the discovery of the ‘Calypso’ field – proving that the Zohr-type carbonate play extended into the Cyprus EEZ.

Zohr is the name given to Egypt’s super-giant gas field. Discovered by ENI in 2015, it is the largest ever natural gas find in the Mediterranean, almost twice the size of the nearby Leviathan gas field.


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