A consortium of Italy’s Eni and TotalEnergies has started drilling work at an exploration gas well, located in Block 6, off the coast of Cyprus.

According to the Cyprus Energy Ministry, the Cronos-1 prospect is being drilled using the Tungsten Explorer drillship, which arrived on location south-west of the island.

The project is being carried out by the two energy majors’ local units, Eni Cyprus, and TotalEnergies EP Cyprus.

Eni operates the offshore area, known as Block 6, with a 50% stake while Total owns the remaining 50% stake.

The partners initially planned to start exploration drilling work at the Cronos-1 site in the spring of 2020. The work, however, was put on hold in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2018, the two companies made a gas discovery at the Calypso well, another area in Block 6, in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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The Calypso well drilling resulted in an extended gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age.

Last year, QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil signed an exploration and production sharing contract (EPSC) for the offshore Block 5 in Cyprus.

QatarEnergy owns a 40% stake in the Block 5 while ExxonMobil will operate the block with a 60% interest.

This consortium won the EPSC for Block 10 in 2017. This resulted in the subsequent Glaucus gas discovery in 2019.

Eni currently has stakes in seven of Cyprus’ licences in exclusive economic waters in Blocks 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11. The firm serves as operator in five of these licences.