Exxon, Qatar Petroleum ink Cyprus PSC

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades hosted representatives from Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil for the signing of an exploration and production contract offshore.

Discussions during the meeting focused on current and future cooperation in the energy field and the contract, which sets the terms for exploring the hydrocarbon potential in Block 10 offshore the Mediterranean Island.

"The Republic of Cyprus, by exercising its sovereign rights, continues unabated to implement its strategy for advancing the exploration and exploitation of its offshore wealth", Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said at Thursday's signing.

Qatar Petroleum chief executive Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi told the AP there's "a strong possibility" that the geological structure in the area where the partnership is licensed to drill could potentially hold hydrocarbons.

At the end of previous year, Exxon and Qatar Petroleum won the right to negotiate E&P terms for block 10, in the third licensing round for offshore hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 6, 8, and 10 in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.

ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum said they have begun planning for drilling operations and intend to drill a first exploration well in 2018. QP also said that its consortium with Exxon would help the government build national skills in the oil and gas industry.

"The strategic significance of ExxonMobil's and Qatar Petroleum's presence in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus for the first time, in the Eastern Mediterranean region, is huge", said Cyprus Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis.

The minister said a total of 12 exploration wells would be drilled in the newly licenced blocks: 6, 8 and 10. The duo won over partners Eni and Total; and lone Statoil for the Block.

  • Zachary Reyes