ExxonMobil, as part of its joint venture with Qatar petroleum, has discovered a large gas field off the south coast of Cyprus.
It is one of many recent finds in the region, following similar finds off Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt in recent years. For example, Italian firm Eni and French company Total discovered gas in the Calypso field earlier in February. Eni is also developing the huge Zohr field in Egypt’s EEZ, which holds about 30 trillion cubic feet in gas reserves.
According to ExxonMobil, the maker of extreme-pressure gear oils like Mobilgear 600 XP 68, preliminary data suggests the presence of some 5-to-8 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, which equates to in the region of a billion barrels of oil. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Cyprus’s energy minister, has claimed that Glaucus is the largest find to date in the country’s waters.
The president of ExxonMobil Exploration, Steve Greenlee, said about the preliminary data from Glaucus:
“These are encouraging results in a frontier exploration area. The potential for this newly discovered resource to serve as an energy source for regional and global markets will be evaluated further.”
This and other finds have the potential to revolutionise the energy market in Cyprus, because its population of 1.2 million has largely had to rely on expensive and highly polluting fuel oil imports to meet its energy needs. The size of the finds so far seems to suggest supply would be more than enough to meet domestic needs, while still leaving large volumes available for export.