Exxon makes gas discovery at Glaucus-1 well, offshore Cyprus

ExxonMobil has completed the drilling of the second exploration well in the Block 10 offshore Cyprus and has made a gas discovery, the government said on Thursday.

Stena Icemax drillship / Image source: Stena Drilling
Stena Icemax drillship / Image source: Stena Drilling

The Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry said the well, named “Glaucus-1”, had been successfully completed.

“On February 17, 2019, the “Glaucus-1” well reached a final drilling depth of 4.200 meters below sea level, in 2.063 meters of water. A discovery of 133 meters natural gas-bearing reservoir of excellent quality has been made, which based on preliminary analysis is estimated to represent in place quantities of natural gas of 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf),” the ministry said.

The ministry said that, to better determine the quantity of natural gas in the “Glaucus-1” reservoir, further evaluation work will take place in the coming months.

“Glaucus-1” was the second of a two-well drilling program in Block 10, with the first having been the Delphyne-1 spudded in November 2018. The ministry said on Thursday that operations at Delphyne-1 were completed in January 2019, with the well not encountering commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. ExxonMobil is using the Stena Icemax drillship for its operations offshore Cyprus.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Exxon confirmed making the gas discovery at the block located southwest of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean

Exxon, which owns a 60 percent stake in the Block 10, also said that based on preliminary interpretation of the well data, the discovery could represent an in-place natural gas resource of approximately 5 trillion to 8 trillion cubic feet (142 billion to 227 billion cubic meters). Further analysis in the coming months will be required to better determine the resource potential.”

“These are encouraging results in a frontier exploration area,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. “The potential for this newly discovered resource to serve as an energy source for regional and global markets will be evaluated further.”

Exxon’s partner in the block 10 is Qatar Petroleum International Upstream O.P.C. which holds 40 percent interest.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum said the discovery was an important milestone in the company’s strategy to expand our international footprint.

Aphrodite and Calypso finds

Worth noting, the Glaucus-1 is a third noteworthy offshore gas discovery for Cyprus. U.S. energy company Noble Energy was the first to find gas offshore Cyprus at the Aphrodite well in 2011 and is currently working with the Government of Cyprus to finalize a field development plan for the discovery. According to Noble, Aphrodite development has 4 Tcfe gross recoverable resources and the gas, once produced, would be sold to regional customers.

Cyprus last year signed an intergovernmental agreement with Egypt for the construction of a subsea natural gas pipeline which will carry gas from Cyprus’ Aphrodite offshore field to Egypt and then to the EU. It is not clear when the field might go online, as Noble mentioned it only once in its quarterly presentation earlier this month. The company has placed the field under the label “Future opportunities,” with its near term focus place on bringing the huge Leviathan gas discovery in Israel to production later this year.

Back to Cyprus gas discoveries, Eni in February 2018 made what was described as“Zohr-like” discovery, in the Block 6 offshore Cyprus. Zohr is a giant gas field Eni found a few years back in the Mediterranean, offshore Egypt.

Upon Calypso discovery, Eni tried to move the drillship to its Block 3 to drill the Soupia well, it was blocked by the Turkish navy on the grounds of the expected military operation at the destination. Eni then moved the Saipem 12000 drillship out of the country altogether and sent it to drill a well in Morocco.

Despite the setback with Block 3, in a conference call in April 2018, Eni said it had plans to progress with appraisal works at the Calypso well in the first quarter of 2019.

 

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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