Cyprus signs agreement for more offshore drilling with ExxonMobil


Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides has signed an agreement with ExxonMobil and Qatar Energy to approve offshore drilling in Cyprus. Credit: Natasa Pilides / Twitter

Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides has signed an agreement to issue ExxonMobil and its partner Qatar Energy for a second exploration license for offshore drilling.

Pilides said ExxonMobil plans to start exploring the waters of Cyprus in the first half of 2022 to better assess its oil and gas fields. The Energy Minister said there were “sufficiently optimistic indications” that the area will be similar to that discovered by ExxonMobil in 2019 which contained fields containing around 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Pilides celebrated the signing as the end result of a licensing process that has been going on for six months:

“The government and the consortium having identified the geological perspectives and potential production synergies arising from the licensing of Block 5, and after careful consideration by the Hydrocarbons Advisory Committee of the technical and economic aspects of the bid to ExxonMobil and Qatar Energy, we have negotiated in good faith the terms of the Exploration and Production Sharing Contract that the Council of Ministers has approved and that we have just signed.

The signing took place at the presidential palace with Pilides, Ali Al-Mana, Head of Upstream and International Exploration at Qatar Energy, and Varnavas Theodossiou, Country Manager of ExxonMobil in Cyprus.

Theodossiou said the new license “allows us to further expand our presence in Cyprus in what we believe to be a promising region for offshore exploration”.

Cyprus continues to develop the EEZ with offshore drilling

This is the tenth offshore block that Cyprus has authorized for drilling. Pilides also hailed the deal as a way to further explore the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ):

“The Republic of Cyprus, by exercising its sovereign rights in accordance with international law, is advancing the exploration of our EEZ and the consortium is strengthening its presence in the very promising area of ​​the eastern Mediterranean,” she said.

The minister also clarified that Al-Mana and Theodossiou had their own meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday, emphasizing their commitment to the country’s EEZ.

“They also informed President Anastasiades of their intention to start, in 2022, fieldwork in block 5 for the acquisition of seismic data,” she added.

Theodossiou also referred to ExxonMobil and Qatar Energy’s relationship with Cyprus as an energy source in a statement:

“We value our strong working relationship with the Cypriot Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry, and look forward to continuing to work with the Cypriot government to assess and help realize the country’s hydrocarbon potential” , did he declare.

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Cyprus (Offshore) Limited, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Qatar Petroleum International Upstream LLC, a subsidiary of QatarEnergy, will conduct work on the project.


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