Italy's ENI to start exploratory natural gas drilling in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-25 03:05:38|Editor: yan
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NICOSIA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Italian ENI energy company will make two natural gas drillings within the coming months in two blocks of the Cypriot exclusive economic zone, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Friday.

His announcement was made after a meeting of ENI's CEO, Claudio Descalzi, with Cyprus's President Nicos Anastasiades.

He said ENI will make its first drilling, called Kalypso, in block 6, and later will start another drilling, code-named Cuttlefish, in block 3 of the Cypriot exclusive economic zone.

"We consider it to be very important that ENI announced action just nine months after receiving its exploratory and exploitation license," Lakkotrypis said.

Descalzi said that exploratory drilling will start in the next two or three months and added that he was confident that more gas deposits will be discovered.

He said that ENI has so far invested 150 million euros and this is an indication of its confidence that gas deposits do exist.

"The geology of Cyprus is in the middle of an interesting system and the island itself is a connecting hub between the Middle East and Europe," he said.

Descalzi also said he was confident about the outcome of negotiations between Italy, Cyprus, Greece and Egypt for the construction of East Med, a pipe that will start in Egypt and end in Italy, to transfer gas from the Mediterranean to Europe.

The project has the support of the European Commission.

Lakkotrypis said that Anastasiades and Descalzi discussed the possibility of ENI participating in a planned project for the transfer of natural gas to Egypt.

Discussions on this project will be continued in the negotiations between officials and technocrats of the companies involved, he said.

Cyprus has already discovered a natural gas field, codenamed Aphrodite.

Egypt has said it wanted to buy as much gas as Cyprus could sell from this field, discovered by Texas-based Noble Energy. (1 euro = 1.19 U.S. dollars)