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