All is going smoothly in relation to block 11 offshore drilling, government says

All is going smoothly in relation to the drilling ship West Capella, bound to start the exploratory drilling in block 11 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone on behalf of Total, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos stated on Wednesday.

He also urged for calmness and dismissed reports linking the presence of foreign naval forces in the region with the drilling activity. At this time, we should all remain calm and down to earth, because many of the news coming from abroad do not correspond to reality and create unnecessary fuss, Papadopoulos said, in statements at the Presidential Palace.

Vessels in the region are there for specific reasons and there is nothing worrisome right now, the Deputy Spokesman added.

According to Papadopoulos, the drilling ship reached its destination in the early hours of Wednesday and is fully cooperating with the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.

In a separate announcement, the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism said that the Total E&P Cyprus B.V. / Eni Cyprus Limited consortium commenced today its drilling operations at the ‘Onesiphoros West 1 well.

The West Capella drilling ship, already on site, will conduct the necessary checks and tests, once stabilized. According to the Ministry announcement, distributed by PIO, the well is expected to be completed in approximately 75 days, reaching a maximum depth of around 4,250 metres below sea level. At that point, waters are 1,698 metres deep.

Concessions by the Republic of Cyprus in block 11 were granted to Total back in 2013. The French energy giant decided to extend the lease of block 11, re-evaluating its geophysical model in view of the discovery of Egypt’s giant Zohr field, only about 6km away from the boundary of block 11. Last March, Eni announced an agreement with Total to acquire 50% participating interest of the offshore block. Total remains the operator of the block.

Source: Cyprus News Agency