The Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Giorgos Lakkotropis, referred to the work of the Onesiphoros West 1 drilling excavation in Block 11 of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus, by Total E&P Cyprus B.V./Eni Cyprus Limited on Cyprus television.
Invited to comment on the arrival of the “Capcapella” drilling rig that will be used for drilling, the drilling site and the upcoming work, Lakkotropis expressed optimism about the drilling results, noting that drilling data is Confidential to the point where there will be results, which are expected early September.
“There is the element of relief now that everything started smoothly and there is also the element of expectation that everything will go well technically regarding the drilling and with safety. Our attention will be in the results to see what this drilling will bring us.
The drilling rig has commenced its work, will be tested before it descends [on the bottom]. It has also been visited [by officers] from the State Services, the supplies with the necessary materials and machinery have started and everything is going smoothly.
The drilling data is secret to the point where we will have results and from that point it is considered national wealth.
We are prepared for various scenarios and we have the scenarios that remain the most prevalent. Our perception is that Turkey will continue to challenge us one way or the other. It is more appropriate to focus on what we do and the best answer is to keep a low tone and to respond, through our actions, at the sea. That is, despite what we have heard lately, the drilling begins and we hope for the best possible result to promote the interests of our country.
Because in the seismic surveys we can see the geological structure, if there is a discovery we do not expect it to be great. But it is extremely important, because it is the first drilling in what we call the ‘second cycle of drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean’, focusing on the marine mountain ‘Eratosthenes’ and the discovery of ‘Zor’ in Egypt. If it is discovered that north of Zor, within the Cyprus EEZ, have migrated materials and have created hydrocarbons within structures within the Cypriot EEZ, this will mean much for other similar structures that we have identified within the Cypriot EEZ. As such, this drilling will prove or disprove the model built around the discovery of ‘Zor’, which deals with carbonated rocks that surround the marine term ‘Eratosthenes’. The result will be in our hands early to mid-September.
Invited to comment on statements by the Israeli Energy Minister that the Turkish Energy Minister is expected to travel to Israel by the end of the year with a view to closing the agreement to build a gas pipeline linking Turkey with Israel, Lakkotropis replied:
“We know that there are discussions at the commercial and government level. These discussions are not something that the Republic of Cyprus can comment on, because it is something that concerns these two countries. In order to make such an agreement, the necessary transnational agreements must be signed. For example, to agree on the sea borders of each country. Without the involvement of the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey can not sign such an agreement”.
Lakkotropis added that the first priority for the Republic of Cyprus is the drilling that will follow in the new parts that have been licensed, while as a second priority he mentioned what is related to the discovery in “Aphrodite”, where the direction of the Republic is to sell [the gas] and to be transported by submarine pipeline to the Egyptian market. “There are many negotiations to reduce the cost of development but also to achieve a better price. We are following all the actions that are taking place”, the minister concluded./IBNA