Total expect drilling operations to begin next year

French energy company Total anticipates the start of drilling operations to begin in the middle of 2015 in South Cyprus’ EEZ, Managing Director of Total E&P Cyprus, Jean-Luc Porcheron has said.

Speaking during a presentation organised by the Cyprus-French Business Association entitled “Total in Cyprus: A long term perspective”, Total’s MD said that “this is just the beginning of exploration in Cyprus”, noting that “we have a lot of work to do before drilling which means that we will probably not be able to drill before mid 2015”, because of all the technical groundwork required.

On the subject of LNG, Porcheron said that it offered the maximum flexibility for marketing adding that LNG (onshore) will bring long term benefits to the island.

Total’s MD said that there were alternatives which could be economically viable, however, that depended largely on the volume of gas found. He continued that Total was considering all options including a pipeline. Although, he admitted that a pipeline offered less flexibility and stressed that it was critical to have “a good and long term relationship” with the country hosting the pipeline.

Total gained exploration licenses in blocs 10 and 12 in February last year after it signed two production sharing contracts with the South’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The company will carry out a two-dimensional seismic survey using a specific type of vessels to locate hydrocarbons in the specific blocs. The license is valid for three months, from 1st February until 1st May, and can be renewed by the Minister.

Initial results of a Noble Energy appraisal well for natural gas in Bloc 12 of South Cyprus’ EEZ estimate the hydrocarbon reserve between 3.6tcf and 6tcf with a gross mean resource of 5tcf. Noble Energy operates Bloc 12 with a 70 percent working interest. Delek Drilling Limited Partnership and Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership each own 15%.

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