Nicosia.- (CNA) – Cyprus President Demetris Chistofias announced on Wednesday that exploratory drilling carried out by Huston-based Noble Energy in block 12 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone revealed a gross mean average of 7 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas, describing the discovery as ”a historic development.”
In a statement at the Presidential Palace Christofias announced that Noble Energy discovered approximately 100 metres (310 feet) of net natural gas pay,” adding the well was drilled to a depth of 5,861 metres in water depth of about 1.689 metres.
”The initial data that emerged from the exploratory drilling and the evaluation checks carried out indicate the existence of a natural gas reservoir ranging from 5 to 8 tcf with a gross mean of 7 tcf,” he added.
He noted that the certain hydrocarbon field covers an estimated 40 square miles, adding that an additional appraisal well will be required based on the followed procedure.
”The discovery of natural gas in our EEZ creates big prospects for Cyprus and our people which we will utilize collectively and seriously in favour of the public interest,” Christofias stressed, adding that this discovery ”creates prospects for long-term economic growth from which both the current and the future generation will benefit.”
He went on to say that apart from the investments as a consequence from the gradual creation of the necessary infrastructure for the use of natural gas, there has been interest from foreign investors to operate in Cyprus.
”New auspicious financial prospects are opening for the future of the island. Cyprus is entering the energy map of Europe with prospects of substantive contribution to the European Union’s energy security,” he added.
The President also said that prospects are opening on the geostrategic and political field as well, as ”the discovery of natural gas could and should constitute a tool for the promotion of peace and cooperation in the region.”
”The utilization of natural gas could constitute an incentive for the reaching of a solution to the Cyprus problem, a solution that would terminate the illegal occupation, reunify the country our people and would restore the human rights and the basic freedoms of our people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike,” he said.
Christofias called on Turkey ”to show a spirit of peace and reconciliation and to avoid any adventurist actions and provocations which cause problems to the (on going UN-backed) talks and tension to the region of Eastern Mediterranean”.
Turkey, he said, is called on to respect the UN resolutions on Cyprus and to work for a solution. Turkey is called on to respect the UN convention of the law of the sea.
”Peace and cooperation cannot be served with confederal and divisive aims. They can only be served with the reunification of the country, which would enable the Turkish Cypriots to benefit from the wealth nature has given to our country,” the President went on to say.
According to the Christofias, ”the discovery of hydrocarbons constitutes a historic development for our country and our people; it fills all of us with feelings of optimism for the future and strengthens confidence for the next steps.”
The President also said the government has already begun long-term strategic planning with the assistance of the consultation team of experts, recalling that the government decided to go ahead with the second licensing round for the remaining blocks of Cyprus’ EEZ.
”At this historic moment we reiterate our commitment to continue working hard and seriously away from ostentations and through transparent procedures for the vindication of our people’s expectations for a better tomorrow for our country,” he concluded.
Following a decision by Nicosia to begin natural gas and oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, Ankara has deployed warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and has signed an illegal agreement with the Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.
The government of Cyprus has protested to the UN and the EU Turkey’s moves, saying it has a sovereign right to exploit its natural resources, pointing out that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will benefit from any benefits that may come from oil drilling.
Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement has been signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.
Noble Energy Inc. in a press release issued on Wednesday, Noble says, ”the Cyprus A-1 well encountered approximately 310 feet of net natural gas pay in multiple high-quality Miocene sand intervals.”
”The discovery well was drilled to a depth of 19,225 feet in water depth of about 5,540 feet. Results from drilling, formation logs and initial evaluation work indicate an estimated gross resource range(1) of 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), with a gross mean of 7 Tcf,” Nobles added, noting that ”the Cyprus Block 12 field covers approximately 40 square miles and will require additional appraisal drilling prior to development.”
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, said ”we are excited to announce the discovery of significant natural gas resources in Cyprus on Block 12. This is the fifth consecutive natural gas field discovery for Noble Energy and our partners in the greater Levant basin, with total gross mean resources for the five discoveries currently estimated to be over 33 Tcf.”
”This latest discovery in Cyprus further highlights the quality and significance of this world-class basin.”
Davidson went on to say, ”We would like to thank the Government of Cyprus for their productive cooperation and support in achieving an important outcome for the people of Cyprus and Noble Energy. We look forward to working closely with the Government of Cyprus to develop this discovery in a manner that maximizes value for all stakeholders.”
Noble Energy operates the well with a 70 percent working interest. Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration will each have 15 percent, subject to final approval by the Government of Cyprus.