Noble Energy will begin drilling for natural gas at a new appraisal well off Cyprus.
The US firm, which reported a natural gas find of up to 8 trillion cubic feet southeast of the island two years ago, is conducting the appraisal to quantify and confirm the earlier find.
“The process is expected to last three to four months,” George Lakkotrypis, Cyprus’ Energy Minister, said.
The ENSCO 5006 drilling rig used by Noble was moved into position on June 1 and the well will be 5,607 metres deep, officials said.
The country is looking to develop untapped offshore gas reserves to power future economic growth, after receiving an international bailout earlier this year.
Noble has rights over one offshore block south of Cyprus. France’s Total and Italy’s ENI, which have rights over other blocks, plan to drill for hydrocarbons within the next two years.