Qatar Petroleum (QP) and ExxonMobil have sealed an exploration and production sharing deal for oil and gas with Cyprus for an offshore block in the Mediterranean Island, a move that would enhance Qatari hydrocarbon major’s international assets buildup.
The signing of the contract for offshore Block 10 in south-west of Cyprus, followed the successful bid, which was recently awarded to the consortium of QP and ExxonMobil.
A 3-D seismic survey is already underway, as the consortium partners prepare to begin exploration drilling in 2018, said a QP spokesman.
"This agreement expands our international upstream footprint into the eastern Mediterranean for what we hope is one of the most promising opportunities in the area," QP president and chief executive Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said.
The contract was signed in the presence of Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, the Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, as well as the Cypriot ministers of Labour, Finance and Foreign Affairs. Also in attendance were Qatar’s envoy Sultan bin Ibrahim al-Mahmoud, and the American ambassador Kathleen A Doherty.
"QP looks forward to working with Cyprus along with its long-term partners, ExxonMobil, in this exciting prospect to bring greater benefit to the country," al-Kaabi said.
"You will see us going internationally with some of the partners we have in Qatar, this year and next year... We are in growth mode," he had said early this year.
Al-Kaabi had in December told the International Petroleum Technology Conference that QP is looking to be present internationally in a much bigger way as it is "very much determined to look at the long-term goal".
Ahead of the signing, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades received al-Kaabi and Andrew Swiger, senior vice president and principal financial officer of ExxonMobil, at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia.
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 consortium would also work with the Cyprus government to help build national skills in the oil and gas industry, QP said.
“The strategic significance of ExxonMobil’s and QP’s presence in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, for the first time in the Mediterranean region, is immense," Lakkotrypis said.
A total of 12 exploration wells would be drilled in the newly licensed blocks 6, 8 and 10. While a consortium of ENI and Total won Block 6, ENI alone walked away with Block 8.