Cyprus Mail

Chevron begins drilling second appraisal well offshore Cyprus

Pipes at Chevron oil exploration drilling site near Texas, US [Reuters]
File photo

Oil major Chevron have begun drilling an appraisal well, the second, at their Aphrodite gas discovery offshore Cyprus, media reports said on Thursday.

Estimated to cost about €100 million, the drill is being carried out by the Stena Forth drillship.

A Navtex issued earlier by Cypriot authorities ‘reserved’ the area around the drill site from April 26 to July 26.

Chevron and their partners, Shell and NewMed Energy agreed in September 2022 to drill a second appraisal well at Aphrodite – as required under their production-sharing agreement – that would also function as a production well.

First discovered in December 2011, the Aphrodite play (well A1) was at the time estimated to hold about 7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. Following drilling of the first appraisal well (A2) in 2013, this was reduced to 4.2 tcf.

As explained earlier by energy expert Charles Ellinas, the main reason for this ‘reduction’ has to do with the Aphrodite reservoir’s complex geology. It is divided into a number of non-communicating compartments, and until all main compartments are drilled, it is difficult to be certain about how much gas the reservoir holds.

Inferring quantities based on data obtained so far is not sufficiently accurate for investment decisions. Chevron’s second appraisal well (A3) now at the largest compartment is critical in this regard.

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