Cyprus’s energy minister said on Thursday exploratory drilling off the island’s southern coast in Block 6 of the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) has shown indications of a potentially sizable gas deposit.
Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said 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 beneath the seabed.
The geological structure of the well is similar to the massive Zohr field in nearby Egyptian waters.
Lakkotrypis said more drilling is needed to determine the deposit’s size. But he said this bodes well for other companies such as ExxonMobil that are licensed to drill in waters off Cyprus because it is now confirmed that the geological makeup of the area is similar to that of Zohr.
It is a a promising gas discovery, ENI said in a statement, adding that it “confirms the extension of the “Zohr-like” play in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.”
“Additional studies will be carried out to assess the range of the gas volumes in place and define further exploration and appraisal operations,” ENI said in a press release on Thursday.
ENI is the operator of Block 6, with a 50 percent participation interest, while Total is the partner with the remaining 50 percent.
ENI has been operating in Cyprus since 2013 and has an interest in six licenses located in the EEZ of Cyprus (blocks 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 and 11).