Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

TotalEnergies and Eni make new "significant gas discovery" offshore Cyprus

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, August 23rd 2022 à 16:40 | Read 406 times

Block 6 looks promising (map: TotalEnergies)
Block 6 looks promising (map: TotalEnergies)
CYPRUS. In two separate press releases published on Monday 22 August 2022, TotalEnergies and Eni announced a "significant gas discovery" in Cyprus with a "net gas thickness of more than 260 metres". The French company and its Italian counterpart indicate that it is located on the Cronos-1 well, in Block 6, 160 km off the Cypriot coast (see map above). Eni says the gas was found at a water depth of 2,287 metres.

The drilling of an additional exploration well is planned to search for significant additional resources and to "evaluate the best development options", the French company's statement added".

Eni - which has already drilled four wells in Cyprus, where it has been operating since 2013, including two in Block 6 - had also found a new deposit (Calypso-1) in the same block in February 2018.
Block 6 is 50% owned by TotalEnergies and 50% by the Italian operator. The two partners are also present in offshore blocks 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 11.
TotalEnergies is the operator of blocks 7 and 11, which it holds 50/50 with Eni, and the Italian operator of blocks 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9, in which it holds the majority of interests, with the exception of block 6, which is shared equally with the French company.

A controversial drilling area

"This success on the Cronos-1 exploration well is a further illustration of the impact of our exploration strategy, which focuses on low-cost, low-emission resources to contribute to energy security and provide additional gas supply resources to Europe," commented Kevin McLachlan, Exploration Director of TotalEnergies.

Since the first gas discoveries off Cyprus, this drilling area has remained highly controversial, as has the entire eastern Mediterranean as a new gas province. The delimitation of the maritime zones, and therefore the beneficiary of its resources, remains highly contested between the states of the region. "The gas discoveries have only intensified the already existing tensions and have made attempts at negotiations between these countries even more difficult," said Francis Perrin, director of research at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) and a specialist in energy issues, at the 11th Cybèle International Meeting (Marseille, 31 March and 1 April 2022) organised by the Euromed-IHEDN association.

The Mediterranean island has been cut in two since the invasion of its northern part by Turkey, following an attempt by Athens in 1974 to join Cyprus to Greece. A self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), recognised only by Turkey, has emerged alongside the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union.
Ankara therefore refuses to recognise Cypriot territorial waters. And it does not hesitate to send exploration vessels there, as shown by the various episodes of the saga of the ship Oruç Reis.

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