ExxonMobil in major gas discovery off Cyprus

Mediterranean fast becoming player in gas market


ExxonMobil has made a substantial gas discovery in the waters off Cyprus, marking the latest find in the eastern Mediterranean which is rapidly transforming into a major energy play.

The company said the preliminary well data suggested there was between five trillion and eight trillion cubic feet in place, or the equivalent of more than 1 billion barrels of oil in energy terms, making it the biggest discovery off Cyprus so far.

“These are encouraging results in a frontier exploration area,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. “The potential for this newly discovered resource to serve as an energy source for regional and global markets will be evaluated further.”

The announcement of the find follows previous discoveries in the waters of Egypt and Israel, which have raised hopes of further finds. The three countries have plans to both feed local markets and to develop pipelines to export gas to southern Europe.

Cypriot energy minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said it was the biggest ever find in Cyprus and one of the largest made globally in the last two years, according to Reuters.

“Glaucus is a giant,” said Robert Morris, senior research analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie. “It will be one of the biggest discoveries of the year. The discovery maintains the East Mediterranean’s position as one of the world’s premier exploration hotspots.”

The Glaucus-1 well was the second of two drilled in a 2,572 square kilometre block Exxon is exploring with Qatar’s state energy company. The first well did not find commercial quantities of oil or gas.

Exxon holds a 60 per cent stake in the licence while Qatar holds 40 per cent.- Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019