ExxonMobil starts the drilling of Claucus-2 offshore Cyrpus amid tensions


ExxonMobil, the American major oil company, started drilling Glaucus-2, Block 10, offshore Cyprus this week. The drilling happened just weeks after Turkey raised issues over the ward of block 5.

Firstly, Cyprus’ Ministry of Energy, Commerce, and Industry said the Stena Drilling drillship carried the perforation activities. Stena Forth company owns the Stena drillship. The Ministry also added that officials would vigorously monitor the operations.

Moreover, Natasa Pilides, Cyprus’ Energy, Commerce, and Industry Minister, confirmed the start of the Glaucus-2 well drilling via her social media accounts. Block 10 is a huge reservoir estimated to have between 5 and 8 trillion cubic feet of gas. Results from the drilling campaign will come in the first quarter of 2022.

In addition, ExxonMobil and QatarEnergy, partnered with Exxon in the blocks, said they drilled to a final depth of 14,000 feet below sea level in 6,800 feet of water by the Stena IceMax drillship.

The ship’s activities will continue after its work on the Mediterranean. Under the deal with Exxon, the Stena will be mobilizing for operations offshore Canada after it completes work in the Mediterranean.

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ExxonMobil and QatarEnergy deal violated Turkey’s laws, says Minister

As a reminder, back in 2019 the companies discovered the Glaucus field. To date, Block 10’s contract is the second Exxon, and Qatar Energy has signed with Cyprus’s government. Earlier this month, the partners signed another contract for Block 5, located southwest of Cyprus.

Block 5 covers an area of 1,740 square miles in water depths of up to 8,200 feet and is adjacent to Block 10. Turkey fiercely opposed the deal. Just hours after the Energy Ministry in Cyprus announced the deal for Block 5, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the deal violated Turkey’s continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Turkey will never allow any foreign country, company, or ship to engage in hydrocarbon exploration activities in its maritime jurisdictions,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. Turkey also accused Cyprus of escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean by awarding exploration and drilling rights to the venture.

Furthermore, the Ministry claimed that ‘necessary measures will be taken against this initiative, which is a violation of not only the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people but also the continental shelf of the Republic of Turkey.’

Finally, saying. “It is not possible to stand idle by and watch the deliberate efforts of the Greek Cypriot side to escalate the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean region…”

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