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AAPG GEO 2010 Middle East
Geoscience Conference & Exhibition
Innovative Geoscience Solutions – Meeting Hydrocarbon Demand in Changing Times
March 7-10, 2010 – Manama, Bahrain

Offshore Cyprus - A Future Hydrocarbon Player

Per H. Semb1

(1) Marine, PGS, Lysaker, Norway.

Offshore Cyprus, located in the eastern Mediterranean close to the already proven hydrocarbon provinces offshore Egypt and Israel covers a huge unexplored area. This area has recently drawn a lot of attention from the oil and gas industry after arranging its first license round in 2007 and from the news of the very encouraging lower Miocene gas discoveries in offshore Israel.

The Cyprus Ministry recently announced they are ready to launch its 2nd license round around Q4 ’09 - Q1 ’10 after completion of the first round which resulted in award of one block to the American company Noble Energy Inc. In the 2nd round all open blocks will be offered, in total 12 blocks, each with size of 4-6000 sq km which sums up to more than 70,000 sq km of unexplored acreage.

The offshore blocks are covered by more than 19,000 line km of newly acquired 2D seismic and 750 sq km 3D seismic data. About 12,500 line km of the 2D data was acquired in 2008/2009 with a dual sensor streamer technology which especially enhances the lower frequencies (also enhancing the higher frequencies) which is crucial for penetration and imaging of the pre Messinian structures. The recent acquired 2D seismic reveals a full set of new potential plays offshore Cyprus. In the thick pre Messinian sediment package in the Levant basin a lot more details are seen and more of the deeper low frequent structures are reveled giving a better understanding of the potential plays. The enormous Eratosthenes structure located south of Cyprus which origin has been subject to a lot of discussion is now revealing a lot more of its structural elements, supporting the idea of the structure as a potential hydrocarbon source/reservoir. The western offshore and the Herodotus Basin is in general complex with a lot of thrusting and faulting were several big 4-way closure structures have been identified together with a set of interesting pre Missinian fault blocks. Several hydrocarbon indicators as flat spots, amplitude anomalies and gas chimneys identified both in the pre and post Messinian sediments further enhance the hydrocarbon potential in offshore Cyprus.

Based on the promising structures and elements identified in the seismic data and the recent Dalit and Tamar discoveries (0.5 and 5Tcf of gas) in offshore Israel, offshore Cyprus is expected to receive a lot of attention from the oil and gas industry with regards to the second license round and will be an important player in the future search for hydrocarbons.