Are There Any Hydrocarbons in Cyprus?

A Non-Commercial but Encouraging Discovery
This article appeared in Vol. 14, No. 5 - 2017


On 12 September 2017, Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis announced Total’s Onesiphoros West 1 new field wildcat on Block 11 had discovered less than 500 Bcfg and as such is not commercially viable on its own. However, while the volumes of discovered gas are disappointing, the results are also encouraging, as the well proved the existence of Zohr-like reservoirs and a working petroleum system in the Cypriot EEZ.

Onesiphoros West 1, which is located offshore to the south of Cyprus, was spudded by Total in mid-July 2017 and is the company’s first exploration well on the block. Drilled in a water depth of 1,698m, it had a PTD of around 4,000m and was designed to test the southern edge of the Eratosthenes Continental Block (ECB). The targets were Zohr-like carbonates on a north-south elongated four-way closure, which may have a stratigraphic element due to possible facies changes.

Map showing the location of the Onesiphoros West 1 and Zohr 1X wells, offshore Cyprus In December 2015, the Cypriot Cabinet gave approval for the first two-year renewal of Block 11, with Total making a statutory 25% part-relinquishment. The company had been fast-tracking its efforts to secure the necessary approvals ahead of the licence expiring in February 2016, motivated by Eni’s super-giant Zohr gas discovery, which is located 5 km to the south of Block 11 in Egyptian waters. Zohr encountered over 400m of net pay in Miocene/Cretaceous carbonates in the Nile Delta Basin and an appraisal programme has confirmed over 30 Tcf gas in place. The carbonate reef is perceived to be a satellite structure to the ECB, with several analogues/lookalikes wrapping around the high and enhancing the prospectivity of Cypriot Blocks 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12.

Block 11 had been awarded exclusively to Total on 6 February 2013, and following the finalisation of a farm-in agreement between Total and Eni in March 2017, Total operates Block 11 with a 50% interest, with Eni holding the remaining 50%.


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