Noble Energy: Good chance of large gas find off Cyprus

NICOSIA, Cyprus— US company Noble Energy said Wednesday that seismic data indicate a strong chance of a sizable natural gas find off the southeastern coast of Cyprus and that it hopes to begin drilling late this year or in early 2012.
"We don't have an exact number on the amount of resources available, but the structure that we can tell from seismic looks very favorable to be a sizable quantity," Terry Gerhart, Noble Energy vice president for international operations, said after talks with Cyprus president Dimitris Christofias.
Gerhart said Noble Energy's confidence of a large gas find off Cyprus is boosted by its discovery of large natural gas fields in Israeli waters close to Block 12, an 800,000-acre (1,250-square-mile) area that Cyprus licensed the US firm to explore in 2007.
"We're working very diligently to accelerate the process to get a well drilled and certainly, hopefully, start it fourth quarter 2011," said Gerhart, adding that procedural delays could push the start date back to the first quarter of 2012.