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E & P News

2017

Jan 2017: The government has now awarded licenses for 3 offshore blocks under the country’s 3rd licensing round. Block 6 went to Eni and  Total, Block 8 to Eni, and Block 10 to ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum.

2016

Dec 2016: The Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism has selected Eni, Total, ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum to negotiate terms for offshore Blocks 6, 8 and 10 offered in the 3rd Licensing Round. Eni has operated Blocks 2, 3 and 9 since 2013 and 3 blocks on the Egyptian side.

Aug 2016: Cyprus has signed an agreement with Egypt over gas. Under the deal, gas from the Exclusive Economic Zone would be transported to a landing point in Egypt’s Exclusive Economic Zone or onshore for domestic consumption or re-export. An MOU to increase cooperation in the development of the Aphrodite gas field discovered in 2011 in block 12 was signed in 2015.

Jul 2016: The Cyprus Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism announced that the deadline for the submission of applications for the 3rd Licensing Round for offshore exploration in Blocks 6, 8 and 10 has expired. A total of 6 applications have been received from Eni, Total, Statoil, ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum, Cairn Energy, Delek and Avner for all available Blocks.

Mar 2016: Cyprus announced a 3rd round of licensing for offshore exploration Blocks 6, 8 and 10 in the Exclusive Economic Zone. Applications may be submitted within 120 days and the decision on the applications will be made by the Council of Ministers within six months of submission.

Feb 2016: Cyprus is planning a 3rd offshore licensing round. The country’s attempts to find offshore reserves have been a source of friction with Turkey. It has 13 offshore blocks, 5 of which are already licensed to ENI, Total and a consortium of Noble Energy, BG, Delek Drilling and Avner. The 2nd round was announced in February 2012 and saw 15 bids submitted by 29 companies.

2015

Nov 2015: Noble announced a farm-out of 35% of Block 12 to BG including the Aphrodite gas discovery. It will maintain operatorship of Block 12 (35%) and has commenced gas marketing efforts primarily targeting Egypt, including domestic purchasers and underused LNG plants.

Jun 2015: The Cyprus government has welcomed Noble Energy’s declaration of commerciality of the Aphrodite gas field in Block 12.

Mar 2015: Eni and Kogas have failed to discover hydrocarbons at the deep water Amathusa exploration well in Block 9 in the Mediterranean Sea. This is the second dry well for the consortium. Onasagoras was drilled in the same block in the last quarter of 2014.

Feb 2015: Egypt has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the development of the Aphrodite gas field in Block 12 of the Exclusive Economic Zone using gas infrastructure in Egypt after transporting gas through a direct pipeline.

Jan 2015: Noble (operator, 70%) is discussing with the government potential exploitation of the Aphrodite gas field discovered in 2011 in Block 12. Delek Drilling and Avner Oil, both subsidiaries of Israel's Delek Group, each own 15%.

Jan 2015: Total has found no targets to drill on its offshore Blocks 10 and 11 in its latest seismic surveys. Eni recently confirmed its second wildcat on Block 9 had also failed to find commercial amounts of gas. Noble Energy found gas in 2011 (Aphrodite) on Block 12.

2014

Nov 2014: Cyprus and Egypt agreed to discuss the potential export of gas to Egypt, now a net gas importer. The best option appears to be for a pipeline.

Nov 2014: The reserves estimate for the Aphrodite gas field has been raised by 12% to 128 bcm and most of the gas is likely to be exported. Condensate reserves are estimated at 9mm bbls. Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration (both subsidiaries of Delek Group) own 15% each while Noble Energy owns the remaining 70%.

Jul 2014: Exploratory drilling in the first of 6 gas prospects will begin before the end of the summer. A rig is due to relocate from Mozambique and will drill the first well, Onasagoras, named after an ancient Cypriot king.

2013

Nov 2013: Cyprus has signed an MOU in respect of the Cyprus LNG Project with Total following the award of PSC Blocks 10 and 11. The parties will cooperate on the feasibility of an onshore LNG plant to be built at Vasilikos. Eni and KOGAS have recently received rights for Blocks 2,3 and 9 in the Levantine basin.

Oct 2013: Noble Energy has announced that the A-2 appraisal well, northeast of the A-1 discovery location, drilled on Block 12 in 1700m of water, has encountered gas pay within Miocene-aged sand intervals. The Cyprus A structure is the third largest field discovered within the Deepwater Levant Basin. Noble operates Block 12 with 70% with Delek Drilling (15%) and Avner Oil (15%).

Jul 2013: Eni will start exploratory drilling for natural gas in the second half of 2014 in one offshore block overlying the Deepwater Levant Basin. Eni (operator, 80%) and KOGAS (20%) signed a PSC with the Cypriot government in early 2013 covering 3 offshore areas; Blocks 2, 3 and 9. Noble Energy is drilling an appraisal well to verify 2011 finds containing up to 225 bcm of gas in an area just south of the Eni blocks.

Jan 2013: Cyprus will award Total two of 13 blocks on the southern coast that make up the country's 51,000 sq km exclusive economic zone. The deal comes two weeks after Cyprus licensed ENI and Kogas to drill in 3 other blocks.

Jan 2013: Eni signed contracts with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism for Blocks 2, 3 and 9, located in the deep offshore portion of the Levantine basin, which encompass an area of around 12,530 sq kms. Eni (80%, as operator) and the Korean company Kogas (20%) won the blocks in the Cyprus 2nd Offshore Licensing Round.

2012

Oct 2012: Cyprus will start negotiations with ENI (jointly with Kogas for 2 blocks), Total for one block and Total jointly with Novatek for another block. All are close to Noble’s Aphrodite gas find made in late 2011 in Block 12.

Oct 2012: Cyprus is close to shortlisting companies bidding for offshore contracts in the east Mediterranean. The island has received 15 bids for 9 blocks around the south in an area where the Aphrodite gas discovery was made in Dec 2011. Among the bidders are ENI, Total, Petronas and Novatek. Meanwhile Noble plans to appraise its 150 bcm discovery with a well in 2Q 2013, depending on rig availability. Turkey says it will block oil firms from bidding in Turkey if they work in Cyprus.

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