Cyprus says drilling indicates potentially big gas deposit

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 children play on a beach with a drilling platform seen in the background, on the outskirts of Larnaca port, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Cyprus' energy minister said that exploratory drilling off the island's southern shore has shown indications of a potentially sizeable gas deposit. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said Thursday Feb. 8, 2018 that drilling by a consortium made up of Italy's ENI and France's TOTAL has found an "extended column of pure natural gas" similar in structure to a massive Egyptian field. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias/File)

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Exploratory drilling off Cyprus' southern shore has shown indications of a potentially sizeable gas deposit that raises hopes for more discoveries, the east Mediterranean island's energy minister said Thursday.

Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said that drilling by a consortium made up of Italy's ENI and France's Total has found an "extended column of pure natural gas" at a depth of 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) beneath the sea bed.

The geological structure of the well is similar to the massive Zohr gas field in nearby Egyptian waters. Zohr, discovered by ENI in 2015, contains an estimated 850 billion cubic meters (30 trillion cubic feet) of gas and is the biggest gas field ever found in the Mediterranean.

Lakkotrypis said more drilling is needed to determine the Cypriot deposit's size.

But he said this bodes well for other companies like ExxonMobil that are licensed to drill in waters off Cyprus because it confirms that the geological make-up of the area is similar to that of Zohr.

ExxonMobil and partners Qatar Petroleum are licensed to drill in an area, or block, just south of where the ENI-Total consortium is carrying out exploratory drilling. ExxonMobil said it plans to start drilling in its block later this year.

"This is very positive for other companies who are licensed to drill in other blocks at targets which are similar to that of Zohr," Lakkotrypis told reporters.

ENI called the discovery "promising" and confirmed that a Zohr-like geological structure extends into Cyprus' waters.

If sizeable quantities are confirmed, it will be the second significant gas discovery in Cypriot waters in the last few years, after several failed attempts. Texas-based Noble Energy discovered a field estimated to contain over four trillion cubic feet in reserves.

Cyprus is already in negotiations with neighbors Egypt and Israel on ways to market east Mediterranean gas. Options being weighed include selling gas to Egypt to meet its massive energy needs and using processing plants in Egypt to liquefy the gas and ship it to markets such as Europe.

Lakkotrypis has said Cyprus may consider building a gas processing plant of its own depending on the quantities found.

Another option that got the backing of the governments of Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy is to build a pipeline that would carry the gas to Europe.

Must Read

Oklahoma man jailed in killing accused of...

Aug 17, 2016

An Oklahoma man suspected of fatally shooting a male neighbor was accused of harassing and shouting...

University of California, Berkeley chancellor...

Aug 17, 2016

University of California, Berkeley chancellor has resigned his post after facing criticism for...

Grassley: FBI improperly restricting access to...

Aug 17, 2016

A Republican senator says the FBI is improperly restricting access to materials from its closed...

AT&T hikes prices for some plans, but raises...

Aug 17, 2016

AT&T is joining Verizon in raising the prices of some of its data plans, though many customers...

'Mr. Robot' mobile game launches as phony...

Aug 17, 2016

A fake messaging app inspired by the USA Network hacker 'Mr. Robot' was released Tuesday for mobile...

About Us

Started in 2015, Science Of The World offers in-depth news about the latest scientific discoveries. If you’re looking for a reliable source, Science Of The World is the one for you.

Contact us: sales[at]scienceoftheworld.com

Subscribe Now!