The drill ship SAIPEM 10000 had failed to find any LNG reserves during its most drilling in the Onasagoras well and is expected to complete is standard inspections and surveillance within the next 48 hours before setting its coordinates 55 kilometres south-west on the outskirts of Block 9 (the same block as Onasagoras).
Government officials are hopeful ahead of the Amathusa drilling as it is situated much closer to the Aphrodite well (30 kilometres) where LNG reserves lie in abundance. The drilling at Amathusa, which is one of the reservoirs awarded to the ENI/KOGAS consortium, is expected to hit depths of 2,700 metres below the surface of the sea and is expected to finish by March 19. Apart from Block 9, ENI also acquired Blocks 2 and 3. The drilling at Onasagoras reached a depth of 5,800metres from the surface of the sea.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s seismic vessel Barbaros is expected to leave Cyprus’ waters where it entered illegally a few months ago to begin LNG exploration of its own. The Barbaros has been within Cyprus’s EEZ since October 20 when it entered the area amid Turkish protests over Cypriot authorities launching licensed oil and gas drilling activities in the area.
The violation by the Barbaros prompted President Nicos Anastasiades to pull out of the latest round of United Nations-mediated negotiations aimed at reunifying the divided island.
Initial reports in the Turkish media quoted Turkish-Cypriot negotiator Ergun Olgun as saying that the Barbaros would withdraw from Cyprus’s EEZ on December 30, following the completion of its exploration activities. According to the reports, Olgun said the move would pave the way for the resumption of stalled talks. Other media reports in Turkey spoke of a move towards Greek waters by the vessel although officials in Greece described such a scenario as “unlikely”.
Exploration and appraisal drilling in Block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ by Noble Energy has shown estimated reserves of 3.6 Tcf to 6 Tcf, namely 5 Tcf. Further exploration is planned by the consortium.