In order to strengthen the security of energy supply, improve the country’s energy efficiency as well as to enhance the geostrategic role of the island, the Republic of Cyprus took a strategic decision, a few years ago, to commence hydrocarbon activities within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In this context, the 1st Licensing Round was held in 2007, which resulted in the granting of one Hydrocarbon Exploration License to Noble Energy International Ltd (NEIL) for the exploration of Block 12. In February 2012, a 2nd Licensing Round was announced for the remaining twelve blocks and as a result of this licensing round, five more agreements were signed with ENI/KOGAS for exploration of Blocks 2, 3 and 9 and with Total for the exploration of Blocks 10 and 11. In February 2013, Delek and Avner obtained 30% of the rights for Block 12 from NEIL.
Following the first exploration drilling in Block 12, NEIL announced in late 2011 a natural gas discovery with a mean of seven trillion cubic feet gross resources. NEIL proceeded, in June 2013, with an appraisal well for this discovery and performed production testing. Performance modeling indicates development wells in the reservoir should have capacity to deliver up to 250 million cubic feet per day, while the evaluation of the drilling data resulted in an updated estimate of five trillion cubic feet mean gross resources. The whole appraisal process in the “Aphrodite” field is anticipated to be completed by 2015, while the NEIL exploration program for 2014 includes the drilling of a new exploration well in Block 12 (new prospect).
ENI/KOGAS and Total, completed extensive 2D and 3D seismic surveys and, from the third quarter of 2014 until early 2016, ENI and Total will drill at least eight exploration wells.