Cyprus: Noble Energy may drill offshore soon

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 17
– Noble Energy Inc. could begin exploratory drilling for natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean off Cyprus in late 2011 or early 2012, according to a press report.

Drilling on Noble Energy-held, 1,250 sq mile Block 12 would be within about 35 miles of a Noble Energy group’s late 2010 discovery of a 16 tcf mean resource in subsalt Miocene intervals at the Leviathan exploratory well (OGJ Online, Jan. 10, 2011). That well is in 1,645 m of water 130 km off Haifa, Israel (see map, OGJ, Oct. 4, 2010, p. 54).

Noble Energy last week announced a 2011 capital program of $650 million for the eastern Mediterranean and said a large portion of that sum will to toward development of Tamar gas field. That budget also takes in three to four exploratory wells, including at least one Leviathan appraisal well.

Any gas discovered in Cyprus waters would be shipped to the island, while Tamar gas is destined for Israel.

Noble Energy has said that Leviathan could turn Israel into a net gas exporter. Noble Energy’s partner, Delek Drilling LP of Israel, has suggested that a liquefied natural gas plant on Cyprus could export gas from discoveries off both countries.

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