ENERGY: Cyprus to announce results of ExxonMobil gas drills

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The Cyprus government and ExxonMobil will announce on Thursday the results of two offshore exploration drills conducted by the ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum venture in block 10 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The results will be announced by Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis and ExxonMobil’s Vice President Tristan Aspray at a joint press conference at the Ministry of Commerce, scheduled for Thursday at 14:00.

Earlier in January, the Energy Ministry announced that the drilling operations at the “Delphine” target in block 10 had been completed and that the Stena Icemax drilling rig would move onto the target named “Glafcos” in the same block.

Announcement of results were expected after completion of the exploration drilling on the second target, which has now been completed.

The focus is on whether exploration drills at the Glafcos well have located a significant reserve of gas which would help put Cyprus on the regional energy map. It has only one confirmed find at Aphrodite and that remains untapped.

There is speculation that block 10 has exploitable deposits, and the presence of ExxonMobil’s Asprey in Cyprus to make the official announcement indicates there has been a substantial find.

Sources told the Cyprus News Agency that if a second exploitable field has been located, after the discovery of "Aphrodite", this will trigger positive developments on three levels: hydrocarbon resources in the Cypriot EEZ are larger than initially thought, the presence of the world’s largest hydrocarbon company in Cyprus is rendered permanent, while Italy’s ENI and France’s Total exploration projects, which includes five test drills, takes on a new dynamic.