NICOSIA, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Results of an ongoing gas drilling about 75 km off Cyprus' southwest coast are providing "encouraging signs" of a natural gas field, Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Friday.
"The findings are encouraging. A reserve has been located but the morphology of the particular target is complicated so we need more time," he said.
"I won't talk about quantities or anything else," he said after briefing President Nicos Anastasiades.
The drill is being carried out by Italian ENI company in block six of Cyprus' exclusive economic zone and is expected to be completed in a few days.
The minister added that the geology of the sea bed at the drilling target called "Calypso" is similar to that of mammoth Egyptian Zohr find not far from where the present drill is being made.
"It is a complicated carbon rock layer and more analysis is needed," he said.
The Egyptian Zohr field, said to contain over 32 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, was discovered by ENI in 2015. It is said to be the largest ever natural gas find in the eastern Mediterranean.
The drilling started on New Year's Day and it was announced at the time that it would take an estimated 35 days to complete.
Lakkotrypis said that after completing the "Calypso" hole the drilling ship will move to block three to start a new exploratory drilling code named "Squid".
The new drilling will be done in much shallower waters and in different rock layers.
ENI has also obtained concessions in block eight, and in block 11 in association with France's Total.
ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum consortium has been awarded block 10 of Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.
Texas-based Noble Energy has tapped natural gas in a field called Aphrodite, about 85 km off the south coast of Cyprus, close to Israeli gas fields.