According to the Cypriot government, a recent gas discovery off the coast of Cyprus demonstrates the bright energy potential of the eastern Mediterranean.
The Italian energy juggernaut Eni and France’s TotalEnergies, who together play a key role in Nicosia’s offshore energy development, have made their third significant discovery, Zeus-1.
According to preliminary estimations, the Zeus-1 reservoir has between two and three trillion cubic feet (57 and 85 billion cubic metres) of natural gas, according to the Cypriot energy ministry. Cyprus believes that the use of underutilised resources could contribute to the security of Europe’s energy supply, which has been compromised since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
The energy ministry and TotalEnergies reported that the gas find was 162 kilometres (100 miles) off the southwest coast of Cyprus. According to the government, the drilling revealed the existence of a 105-metre (approximately 345 ft) column of clean natural gas.
It went on to say that the discovery, which it called a major gas discovery, confirms the region’s brilliant energy potential. While Eni discovered the Calypso-1 gas field in 2018, the Eni-Total collaboration claimed a significant find at the neighbouring Cronos-1 well in August.
The three reservoirs are all situated in Block 6, an offshore region.
Cyprus has given the Eni-Total consortium drilling permission for seven blocks, and the consortium has reportedly started looking into methods to “speed up and optimise the utilisation of the discoveries. The most recent discovery is in addition to other significant gas finds, such as the 4.5 trillion cubic foot Aphrodite well in Block 12 that was licenced to US company Chevron, British company Shell, and Israeli partners.
Aphrodite’s commercial exploitation would likely take several years, according to the Cypriot government, and the gas would probably be shipped to adjacent Egypt. ExxonMobil and QatarEnergy agreed to share oil and gas production off the coast of Cyprus in a contract inked in December 2021, infuriating Turkey.
Due to conflicting claims over rights to maritime zones, gas extraction in the eastern Mediterranean has been a sensitive topic for the two countries. Block 10 off the coast of Cyprus was the greatest natural gas find made on the island to date by ExxonMobil and QatarEnergy in February 2019. It holds an estimated five to eight trillion cubic feet of gas.