Both Eastern Mediterranean countries are likely to be blessed with large deposits of natural gas off their shores. The island nation of Cyprus has begun exploration activities led by Houston-based Noble Energy. The Texan company encountered substantial amounts of gas (3.6 to 6 Tcf) with a mean of approximately 5 Tcf in the Aphrodite field in Block 12 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone while undertaking its appraisal A2 drilling. Noble Energy, who operates Block 12 with a 70% working interest - the remaining 30% being shared by its Israeli partners Delek and Avner - considered the results as encouraging for further exploratory drilling within Block 12.
An ENI/KOGAS consortium will also be conducting exploration activities in Blocks 2, 3and 9 of Cyprus’ EEZ while Total was awarded licences to search for natural gas in Blocks 10 and 11. They expect to commence exploration between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. They also expressed interest in eventually participating in Cyprus’ multi-billion LNG facility that will be built in the industrial zone of Vassilikos on the island’s coast.