Italy’s ENI to start two gas drillings off Cyprus

Italian energy giant ENI is set to start two exploratory drillings for natural gas in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the coming months, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and ENI’s CEO Claudio Descalzi announced on Friday.

Descalzi told the reporters at the Presidential Palace, after he was received by President Nicos Anastasiades, that he was optimistic about the upcoming exploratory drillings. The company plans to drill in the Calypso target of block 6 in December and will continue in January with the second drilling in a target called Cuttlefish in block 3.

The company has informed the President that they will proceed with two drillings, one after the other, starting with target ‘Calypso’ in block 6 and moving on with target ‘cuttlefish’ in block 3 Lakkotrypis said in his statements, describing the President’s meeting with ENI’s leadership as a very constructive one.

The drilling, he said, will start at the end of the month and the company is in the final stages of obtaining the necessary licenses.

Asked whether they discussed about Turkey’s provocations and its claims that part of block 6 falls within its own continental shelf, the Minister noted that the government decided to award the exploration license to a powerful ENI � TOTAL consortium because it was ready to proceed with the drillings, a belief that was expressed at today’s meeting by the company itself, he said.

According to Lakkotrypis in the next twelve months there will be four to five exploratory drillings in Cyprus EEZ. Two of them were announced today by ENI and another two will be carried out by EXXON � Mobil in the second half of 2018. ENI is also expected to choose its targets in block 8.

Claudio Descalzi, ENI’s CEO said that the gas drilling comes nine months after the license has been awarded, which is a record time.

We are optimistic about this well. It will be the first in the block six and back to back we are going to drill in the block 3 in a different kind of geological setting, he noted. Drilling in block 6 will start in December and in block 3 in January, he added.

Descalzi pointed out that in the last years ENI has invested in Cyprus more than 450 million euro. That means we believe in Cyprus, we believe in the prospectivity of Cyprus, in the geology of Cyprus and at the end of the day in the system because Cyprus is in the middle of a very interesting east Mediterranean system.

ENI’s CEO said that Cyprus is a natural bridge to Europe which is looking to diversify its gas sources. Italy with Cyprus, Egypt and Greece are discussing this possible corridor and we are optimistic and for that reason we are present and we are investing a lot he said.

He added that Cyprus is still a virgin area because we didn’t drill a lot of wells, just two or three wells.

The drilling, he said, could reveal a large or a small structure, in which case the company could start supply Cyprus with natural gas to cover domestic needs or use the existing facility in Egypt to reduce the amount of investment for Cyprus to export to Europe. There are a lot of possibilities and we are just at the very beginning. I think that the effort that the Minister is doing now and the President to promote this investment is quite important.

Source: Cyprus News Agency