French TOTAL gears up for first exploratory drilling in block 11

French energy heavyweight TOTAL said on Thursday that block 11 in the Cypriot EEZ, which is adjacent to the Egyptian giant gas field Zhor, contains geologic structures which could carry natural gas.

Total signed today a contract with EDT Agency Services Ltd, a subsidiary of the EDT Offshore Group, a contract for Onshore Logistics Base Services in the Limassol port, paving the way for the commencement of exploratory drilling in block 11 in 2017. The ceremony took place in the presence of Ministers of Energy and Transport Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Marios Demetriades respectively.

“The prospective geologic formations proved up by the Zhor discovery are believed to extend in block 11,” Yves Grosjean, General Manager Total E&P B.V Cyprus addressing the signing ceremony, clarifying that “it is not the Zhor gas field itself that extends in Block 11, but the rock formations.”

“And we have identified in Block 11 some geologic structures which could also contain gas,” he added.

However Grosjean warned that the chance for discovery are 25% due to the unknowns associated with such emerging hydrocarbon provinces.

“It may take several wells and possibly also several years before an economic discovery is eventually made,” he pointed out.

Grosjean said that such a deep water development “would most certainly cost around Euros 5 to Euros 10 billion and would take 5 to 10 years to get off the ground.”

Noting that there are several market and pricing options, Grosjean said that among the possible marketing options is the Egyptian market, recalling the agreement between Cyprus and Egypt for the export of the Aphrodite, a gas find operated by Noble Energy, Delek and BG Group containing 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Regarding an LNG plant in Cyprus, Grosjean said this could be on option “if the discovery is very big.”

On his part, Marios Demetriades, Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, said the objective of everyone here is that all these oil and gas exploration companies proceed with their work in the fastest possible way.

“We want the companies to be serviced the best possible way and of course we see a lot of future for Cyprus as a regional centre for providing this kind of services,” he added, assuring both TOTAL and EDT that the government will support in every way this kind of operations “because we do believe that the oil-gas sector has a large future in Cyprus.”

Mike Socratous, EDT Operational Manager said, “our vision with the support of TOTAL, is to firmly establish the EDT shore base in Limassol port as a leading logistical solution in supporting drilling campaigns throughout the Cyprus EEZ and even further afield around the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Source: Cyprus News Agency