Cyprus may have hit the jackpot after Noble Energy announced yesterday that some 1.5 billion barrels of oil could lie in deepwater strata off the island’s southern coast.
In a statement, the Texas-based energy company said “There is evidence of multiple opportunities in the Eastern Mediterranean with approximately 3 billion barrels of gross unrisked oil potential in the deep Mesozoic play in both Cyprus (1,496 MMBoe) and Israel (1,538 MMBoe). We are evaluating 3D seismic data on an ongoing basis and plan to resume exploration drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean in late 2014 or early 2015.”
MMBoe stands for one million barrels of oil equivalent.
The statement followed a conference hosted by Noble in Houston with analysts and investors on the company’s operational outlook.
“Significant exploration potential remains on the company’s acreage position in the Eastern Mediterranean, with approximately 3 billion barrels of gross unrisked oil potential in the deep Mesozoic play in both Cyprus and Israel and four trillion cubic feet gross of natural gas potential in Cyprus,” the company said during the conference.
‘Unrisked’ is industry jargon for a rough estimate of reserves that does not reflect the probability of geologic success. And experts caution that it’s still too early to tell whether Cyprus has struck gold.
The Mail learns that it was last week that senior Noble execs first tipped off the government on the potential for an oil bonanza in Cypriot waters.
The information was relayed to the President during a meeting in Nicosia with Keith Elliott, Noble Energy Senior Vice Chairman for the Eastern Mediterranean.
Coming out of that meeting, company execs were guarded, with Elliott telling newsmen only that they planned to prospect for oil as well as for natural gas.