Greek Cyprus claims vast finding
Noble’s ‘Homer Ferrington’ platform drills for hydrocarbons is taking place in block 12, some 180 kilometres off the south coast of Cyprus. The energy company now claims to find large natural gas resources and hopes to explore more. AFP photoNoble Energy has discovered a vast natural gas reserve, which exceeding the demands of both Greek Cyprus and Israel combined, Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.
Noble has been drilling to find natural gas deposits in the 12th block called “Aphrodite” in the eastern Mediterranean, which Greek Cyprus has unilaterally declared an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“The company has discovered 991 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, which exceeds the domestic needs of both Greek Cyprus and Israel,” announced Noble Energy Chief Executive Charles Davidson, according to the Greek Cypriot press.
“991 billion cubic meters of natural gas have been discovered in Cyprus and Israel’s EEZ. The amount of natural gas discovered exceeds the needs of their domestic markets, which themselves will not be able to absorb the quantities of natural gas that will be produced. Its commercial exploitation is thus necessary through exports to other countries. A great opportunity for natural gas transfer to Europe and Asia has opened up, but also an opportunity for better relations between Cyprus and its neighboring counties, which never existed before,” Davidson said last Friday at the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Award Dinner, according to InCyprus.com.cy.
“One cannot imagine a better field in the eastern Mediterranean,” he said, adding that natural gas exploration on a larger area in the east Mediterranean would continue.
Davidson received the “2012 Distinguished Merit Award” of the Cyprus–U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias sent a message to the event expressing his “appreciation to Noble for discovering gas fields in Cyprus’ EEZ.”
The gas find has “enormous political and geo-strategic importance both for European Union energy security and the promotion of peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
Greek Cyprus has also initiated a licensing tender for the remaining 12 blocks in the EEZ on February 14. The deadline to bid for the tender is May 11.
$250 million Turkish drills
Meanwhile the Turkish government, which has been troubled by Greek Cypriot efforts to exploit potential energy reserves under the eastern Mediterranean, is firmly moving ahead with its plans to explore for oil in other Mediterranean areas.
“The Mediterranean shows a lot of promise as it has a serious [amount of] reserve capacity. We have a drilling program with a cost of $250 million in place and 5 or 6 drilling targets both at sea and on land,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told daily Sabah.
“Maybe no oil will be found [during the explorations], but it is an important to be sure that there is no oil,” he said.
Turkey has signed a continental shelf deal with Northern Cyprus in response to the illegal works of Greek Cypriot-Israeli alliance in the East Mediterranean, Yıldız said, adding that “There are particular overlapping [blocks], but we carry out explorations where the Northern Cyprus licenses grant us.”
Yıldız said he believed the oil found in Cyprus belonged to both the Greek and Turkish sides. But he objected to Greek leader Christofias’ “the resources belong to the two peoples but they will share it out” approach.