10 October 2012 12:36

NICOSIA  – Houston-based Noble Energy is gearing up to start appraisal drilling in February 2013, according to Under Secretary to the President Titos Christofides.

The drilling will start in the 7 trillion cubic foot gas discovery, in Aphrodite block, in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

Christofides was addressing the Economist Conference, which concludes today in Nicosia, on “Recent Status of Energy Exploration in Cyprus”. John Tomich, Cyprus County Manager of Noble Energy, was also one of the speakers.

In his speech, Christofides said that energy issues are now very significant on the island, as Cyprus is now on the energy map, following natural gas reserves located in Aphrodite block.

He said the government aims to strengthen Cyprus on a geostrategical and geopolitical level, creating a third energy corridor, and to introduce natural gas on the island.

Christofides also told delegates that the government has decided to create a liquefied natural gas terminal on the island, something which will become the biggest investment in the island’s history, at an estimated cost of 7-10 billion euro.

Exploratory drilling conducted by Huston-based Noble Energy in Block 12 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone has revealed a gross natural gas reserve between 3 to 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf), with a 60 percent probability of geologic success.

Noble is expected to extract and transfer to Cyprus natural gas by late 2018. The government approved on November 23, last year, the launch of a second licensing round for the remaining 12 offshore blocks, a decision published in the EU Official Journal on February 11, 2012 and expired on May 11, after a three-month bidding period. Fifteen companies and joint ventures, including energy heavyweights such as French Total and Korean KOGAS, have bided for 9 out of Cyprus’ 12 offshore exploration blocks. Bids are being currently evaluated by the government.


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