Cyprus says new gas find helps Europe’s search for energy

NICOSIA, Cyprus — A new natural gas discovery off the southern coast of Cyprus, estimated to contain about 2.5 trillion cubic feet of hydrocarbon, is bolstering Europe’s efforts to secure alternative energy sources, the Cypriot Ministry of Energy said Monday, as a supply crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. to harass the continent.

The ministry said in a statement that the discovery was made by partners Eni of Italy and France’s Total at the Cronos-1 well, 160 kilometers (100 miles) offshore in 2,287 meters (7,500 feet) of water within the exclusive economic zone. of Cyprus and is the second depot discovered there by the Eni-Total consortium.

The consortium has not provided estimates on the amount of natural gas found in the original “Calypso” field in 2018. But Eni said in a statement Monday that the Cronos-1 discovery could “unlock additional potential in the area” and is part of the company’s “successful effort to supply Europe with gas”.

Cronos’ discovery brings the number of deposits found for Cyprus to four – two by Eni-Total, one by ExxonMobil and partners Qatar Petroleum containing an estimated 5-8 trillion cubic feet of gas and another by Chevron and partners Shell and Israel’s NewMed Energy containing up to 4.4 trillion cubic feet.

The Department of Energy said the Eni-Total consortium drillship Tungsten Explorer has now moved to a new source target to “assess the quantities of gas with greater precision”.

The Cypriot government has said the Russian invasion of Ukraine gave additional impetus to the search for alternative fuel sources, especially after the European Union confirmed that natural gas could act as a bridging fuel until 2050 as part of the bloc’s transition to cleaner energy.

Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said the EU’s drive to get rid of Russian gas further anchors the inclusion of Cyprus in the energy planning of the 27-member bloc.

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Pilides said the fact that the new discovery is in an area adjacent to where ExxonMobil is drilling could pave the way for collaboration with the Eni-Total consortium.

She added that the most likely scenario for getting gas into European markets remains to pipe it to Egyptian processing plants for liquefaction and then ship it by ship.

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