Eni Strikes Another Significant Gas Discovery Off Cyprus

Lease blocks off the southern coast of Cyprus (TotalEnergies)

Published Aug 22, 2022 9:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

Italian oil major Eni has announced a "significant" gas discovery off the southwest coast of Cyprus, adding to the tally of new natural gas finds in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Eni reports that its Cronos-1 exploration well struck a gas column in a carbonate reservoir with "fair to excellent" properties, including more than 800 feet of net pay and intervals with "excellent" permeability. The initial estimates suggest a total field size of about 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, with good odds of finding more nearby. 

Eni is so confident in the potential of Cronos-1 that it is studying fast-track development options to bring the field online swiftly. According to non-operating partner TotalEnergies, an additional exploration well is planned nearby. (Both Eni and Total hold a 50 percent stake in Block 6, with Eni as operator.)

Cronos-1 is the second in Cyprus' Block Six, following Eni's Calypso-1 discovery. Calypso is roughly three times as large, with reserves of about 6-8 trillion cubic feet.

Eni's Block Six is far less contentious than its lease at Block Three, which lies in a contested area claimed by both Cyprus and the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. When Eni attempted to drill in Block Three in 2018, five Turkish Navy warships blocked Eni's chartered drillship and forced it to retreat.  

The natural gas potential in the Eastern Mediterranean extends across national boundaries. Eni is also the operator of the giant Zohr gas field, located just on the other side of the EEZ demarcation in Egyptian waters. Zohr is the largest gas field ever discovered in the Mediterranean, with total reserves of about 30 trillion cubic feet. Its discovery doubled Egypt's natural gas reserves overnight and restored the nation's energy independence, with enough capacity left over to export as LNG.