ENI-Ko­gas gets 2-year ex­ten­sion, to drill in 2017

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The cab­i­net de­cided on Mon­day to give the ENI-Ko­gas joint ven­ture a two year ex­ten­sion in or­der to con­tinue its ex­plo­rations within Ex­clu­sive Eco­nomic Zone in blocks 2, 3 and 9, on the east­ern side of the Cyprus wa­ters.

En­ergy Min­is­ter Ge­orge Lakkotrypis said af­ter the cab­i­net meet­ing that the con­sor­tium’s re­quest for ex­plo­ration un­til 2018 had been ap­proved.

He said that there is a draft plan for the con­sor­tium’s ac­tions, which was pre­sented to of­fi­cials at the min­istry, adding that the gov­ern­ment was in­formed on how ENI-Ko­gas will pro­ceed based on ge­o­log­i­cal stud­ies.

He also noted that that mat­ter will be clar­i­fied in Jan­uary and that based on ini­tial plan­ning, the next drilling will be in 2017 and the plan will be ex­am­ined af­ter new data.

The con­sor­tium’s con­ces­sion was due to ex­pire in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Lakkotrypis told re­porters the Ital­ianSouth Korean joint ven­ture had asked for more time in or­der to “re-as­sess the en­ergy po­ten­tial, which is all the more nec­es­sary now af­ter the devel­op­ments in Egypt’s Ex­clu­sive Eco­nomic Zone and the dis­cov­ery of the Zohr gas reser­voir.”

Pre­vi­ously, fol­low­ing two un­suc­cess­ful ex­plo­ration drills in Block 9, ENI had been re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing aban­don­ing its oper­a­tions here.

The min­is­ter may have been re­fer­ring to a new model em­ployed by ENI, which tracks car­bon­ate reser­voirs rather than sand reser­voirs, ac­cord­ing to the Cyprus Mail.

It is this model which ENI used when in the sum­mer it dis­cov­ered the Zohr prospect in Egyp­tian wa­ters – the largest gas find ever made in the Mediter­ranean.

Zohr lies just 6km from the bound­aries of Cyprus’ Block 11, li­censed to French oil ma­jor To­tal, and about 90km from the Aphrodite reser­voir in Block 12, op­er­ated by No­ble and Is­raeli part­ners Delek and Avner, with BG en­ter­ing as a new part­ner.

Ear­lier this month, the gov­ern­ment also ap­proved the ex­ten­sion of en­ergy gi­ant To­tal’s ex­plo­ration li­cence in Block 11 for two years.

In an in­ter­view with daily Alithia, Lakkotrypis said To­tal has found in­di­ca­tions of po­ten­tial drilling tar­gets.

In the same in­ter­view, the min­is­ter re­vealed that a mooted syn­ergy for joint de­vel­op­ment of the Aphrodite and Zohr reser­voirs was now all but ruled out.

The rea­son, he ex­plained, is that ENI and the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment want to pipe the Zohr gas un­pro­cessed, whereas the de­vel­op­ment plan for Aphrodite pro­vides for trans­port­ing pro­cessed gas.

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