Aphrodite appraisal drill looks good

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The drilling of an appraisal well at the offshore Aphrodite natural gas field was successfully completed with positive signs of undersea riches, said Energy Minister George Papanastasiou.

He told journalists Monday that the drilling of the A3 appraisal well was completed on July 13, and there were some initial but unofficial remarks.

He added that the appraisal well was drilled in the centre of the gas deposit to confirm natural gas quantities and quality after two previous appraisal drillings, one to the east and the other to the west.

Papanastasiou said there might be something newer, which will be evaluated, as regards the quality of the natural gas, “but it seems that it’s positive news”.

He said that while the drilling was confirmative, it was carried out at a depth which, with little intervention, could also be considered a development drilling.

Results of the appraisal drilling are expected by the end of August, while the ministry is considering sending a response to the managing US company, Chevron, over its gas reserve’s revised development plan that it sent about a month and a half ago.

Chevron wants to expedite the development of the Aphrodite gas field to the southeast of Cyprus, which is estimated to contain about 4.5 trillion cubic metres (tcf) of gas.

It also operates the giant Leviathan field offshore Israel, which produces 12 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year supplied to Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

Israel’s New Med Energy has a 30% stake in the field, while Aphrodite operator Chevron and Shell each hold a 35% share.

The Minister said that an agreement was reached on the members of the two technical committees, as per the agreement about a month ago, between Cyprus and Israel, for natural gas and hydrogen, the other for the electrical interconnection of the two countries.

He said these committees will begin their work around the end of July.