02 Aug Cyprus grants Block 7 to Total-ENI consortium and approves a partnership between the two, in 4 Blocks
On Monday, 29th July 2019, the Cyprus Cabinet licensed energy companies Total and ENI, for the purposes of exploring Block 7 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and approved a partnership between the two, in Blocks 2, 3, 8 and 9, where Eni has already been operating in (https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/07/29/licences-for-eni-and-total-to-explore-block-seven/) (http://www.philenews.com/eidiseis/politiki/article/751721/glloitaliko-toxo-stin-aoz-oi-alloi-paichtes).
The above-mentioned approval was finalised, in the Cabinet meeting, following recent indications by Energy Minister, Mr. Giorgos Lakkotrypis that an agreement was in the works. The two companies already collaborate in Blocks 6 and 11
It also approved nine other drills in the EEZ, to be carried out, as of the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020, and over the next 24 months.
These include five exploratory wells and four appraisal wells in the Aphrodite, Calypso and Glafcos deposits. Amongst the exploratory wells, are drillings in Blocks 6 and 7, which include the Calypso deposit, as well as the drilling in Block 10, by ExxonMobil – Qatar Petroleum (https://www.fortunegreece.com/article/kipriaki-aoz-episima-to-temachio-7-se-total-eni/).
It is important to note that Block 7 neighbours the Calypso field in Block 6 where ENI carried out an exploratory drill early in 2018 and is believed to hold between six and eight trillion cubic feet (https://www.eni.com/en_IT/media/2018/02/eni-announces-a-gas-discovery-offshore-cyprus).
In statements to the press at the Filoxenia Conference Centre, on Tuesday, 30th July 2019, the Energy Minister stated that the framework of cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and companies Total and ENI, which was an initiative of President Anastasiades himself and the CEOs of the two oil and gas majors, has been concluded (https://www.stockwatch.com.cy/en/article/energeia/total-eni-consortium-gets-license-offshore-block-7).
Total and ENI had applied for the exploration license in Block 7, back in November 2018, which they now have acquired, with a share of 50 per cent each (https://www.kathimerini.gr/1036053/article/epikairothta/kosmos/kypriakh-aoz-epishma-to-temaxio-7-se-total—eni).
The Cabinet also granted Total a license for blocks 2, 3, 8 and 9, in which ENI is already a licensee. According to the Minister, Total will receive from ENI a share of 20% for Blocks 2 and 9, 30% for Block 3 and 40% for Block 8 (https://www.stockwatch.com.cy/en/article/energeia/total-eni-consortium-gets-license-offshore-block-7).
The Energy Minister, proclaimed, “We believe that this arrangement will strengthen the consortium both in technical and economic terms as well as geopolitically”, adding that “all these are necessary in order for them to move on to their drilling activities uninterrupted”.
The Turkish government, has repeatedly warned Cyprus against exploring for hydrocarbons in its own EEZ, claiming that the Turkish Cypriots should be considered (http://www.ekathimerini.com/243112/article/ekathimerini/business/nicosia-grants-approval-to-eni-total-to-drill-in-block-7).
The granting of the license to the Total – ENI consortium for Block 7, is significant, as this indicates that Cyprus has made a step forward, towards the realisation of its energy program, despite Turkey’s moves and provocations in the EEZ (https://balkaneu.com/cyprus-does-not-sit-idle-plot-7-goes-to-eni-total/).
The Energy Minister noted that “Nicosia has been taking action at diplomatic and legal level” and that “we will continue to do exactly the same thing to defend our country’s sovereign rights with every means at our disposal” (https://www.stockwatch.com.cy/en/article/energeia/total-eni-consortium-gets-license-offshore-block-7).