Cyprus energy director sees promise in East Mediterranean gas development

Drilling offshore Cyprus Block 12 will begin later this month in an effort by Noble Energy Inc. to determine the extent of the natural gas resources, tentatively estimated at 10 tcf.

Block 12 is one of a dozen concessions in Cyprus’ maritime Exclusive Economic Zone, and depending on the results of the pending drilling campaign, Cyprus plans to publish tenders for exploration rights to the other 11 blocks.

In an interview with Israel’s Globes business daily, Cypriot Energy Service director Solon Kassinis discussed upcoming tenders, as well as his country’s natural gas potential and its possible joint ventures with Israel.

“We intend to publish tenders for licenses for 12 blocks and an additional area within Block 12 that covers 25% of its area,” Kassinis said, noting that the area is “partly in the Levant basin, which we share with Israel, and part in the Nile Delta basin, which we share with Egypt.”

Kassinis cited a US Geological Survey estimate that the Levant basin has 122 tcf of natural gas, of which Israeli discoveries total 30 tcf. He also noted that the Nile Delta basin has an estimated 223 tcf of gas, and “we believe that most of it is in the area of our licenses.”

The Cypriot official said he is not optimistic about oil being found in Noble’s Leviathan field but said he is “quite certain that oil will be found in Cypriot waters.”

Kassinis said that these estimates, combined with his country’s “very easy” tax regime, has already brought many oil and gas exploration companies to his office, including companies that have avoided Israel due to concern for the companies’ interests in Arab countries.

"Some of the oil majors have visited us, including Total, Norway’s Statoil, and Chevron. Just 2 weeks ago, I was in Norway and they showed a lot of interest in what we’re planning here,” he said.

In response to a proposal by Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group Ltd. to build natural gas storage and export facilities in Cyprus, Kassinis said that there are “issues” that must be clarified at the state level.

Kassinis said that in his last meeting in Israel, he presented five construction proposals: a pipeline from Leviathan and Block 12 to Cyprus; an LNG facility; a methanol plant; power stations; and oil and gas storage terminals to be used for the strategic reserves of both countries.

Regarding threats by Turkey over drilling off Cyrpus, Kassinis said that they have “no choice but to respect international law” and that he believes the Turks will not “make good on their threats.”

Still, he also held out the possibility of his country operating gas concessions under the military protection of Israel.

"It is not within my professional authority, but I think it is possible to expand cooperation to the military sphere. For example, [Israel] will secure Leviathan with [its] ships and submarines; why shouldn’t [it] also secure Block 12, which is only 33 km away?"

Earlier this month, Lebanon warned the United Nations that Israel’s proposed maritime border threatens peace and security, as the two East Mediterranean nations spar over offshore oil and gas reserves.

It said Israel’s claim “infringes on Lebanon's EEZ” and represents “a clear violation of Lebanon’s rights…and puts international peace and security at risk” (OGJ Online, Sept. 8, 2011).

Last month, Israeli defense officials confirmed media reports that Israel’s defense forces, concerned by threats from Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah organization, have deployed drones or unmanned aircraft to protect the country’s recently discovered offshore oil and gas fields.

“The decision to deploy drones was made in order to maintain a 24-hr presence over the site,” said a report in the Jerusalem Post, later confirmed by an Israeli defense official.

Contact Eric Watkins at

Related Articles

BLM approves ROW for Elko gas pipeline expansion project

07/07/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Tuscarora, Nev., field office signed a decision record approving a right-of-way for Paiute Pipeline Co.’s (PPC) ...

WAFWA: Aerial survey finds lesser prairie chicken population grew

07/06/2015 A recent range-wide aerial survey found the lesser prairie chicken population rose 25% from 2014 to 2015, the Western Association of Fish & Wil...

Buru awarded onshore Canning licenses

07/06/2015 Buru Energy Ltd., Perth, and Mitsubish Corp. have been granted two production licenses for Ungani oil field in the onshore Canning basin of Western...

Woodside lets contracts for Browse LNG project

07/06/2015 Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has let more contracts for the Browse floating LNG project offshore Western Australia. The contracts, awarded to a Technip-...

Earth model assists Permian asset valuation

07/06/2015 Laredo Petroleum Inc.'s Permian-Garden City asset is an unconventional resource play with more than four potential stacked zones covering a 1,700 s...

China's Yanchi area, western Ordos basin derived from mixed source

07/06/2015 The Yanchi area lies in the west of China's Ordos basin and to the west of the giant Sulige gas field, site of recent breakthroughs in Lower Permia...

Newfoundland, Labrador prepare for deepwater exploration

07/06/2015 Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board's (C-NLOPB) most recent call for bids for the Eastern Newfoundland Region is coming to a ...

US House committee leaders send letters to Plains, PHMSA about leak

07/06/2015 US House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders from both parties asked Plains Pipeline LP and the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Admini...

Gas faces more competition from coal, renewables, IEA official says

07/06/2015 Natural gas faces growing competition from coal and renewable energy sources at a time when its potential demand growth is slowing down, an Interna...
White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Better Data, Better Analytics, Better Decisions

When Tue, Oct 27, 2015

The Oil & Gas industry has large amounts of data stored in multiple systems which are purpose built for certain tasks. However, good decisions require insights based upon the data in all of these systems. These systems in turn do not talk to each other. So the process of analyzing data, gaining insights, and making decisions is a slow one and often a flawed one. Good decisions require accurate analytics and accurate analytics require superior/sustainable data quality and governance. This webinar focuses on:

  • The importance of data quality and governance
  • How technological advances are making data quality and governance sustainable in order to get the accurate analytics to make solid decisions.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Seven Lakes Technologies and Noah Consulting.


Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected