Shell and its partners have started drilling an appraisal well at the Aphrodite natural gas field, located in Block 12 of the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.

The appraisal well is aimed at confirming estimates related to size and scope of the gas deposit, The Times of Israel reported.

Situated at a water depth of 1,700m, the Aphrodite field was discovered by the A-1 well in September 2011. The location is 30km northwest of the Leviathan field and 160km south of Limassol.

Shell owns 35% interest in the Aphrodite field, while its partners Chevron and NewMed Energy hold 35% and 30%, respectively.

Aphrodite is estimated to contain 124 billion m³ of gas.

The new appraisal well will be used as a production well, upon completion of development of the reservoir. Drilling of the well is expected to last three months.

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By GlobalData

NewMed Energy CEO Yossi Abu said: “Alongside advancing phase two of the Leviathan reservoir, which satisfies the needs of the local and regional economy, we are making progress and significantly advancing the development of the Aphrodite reservoir.

“Global demand for natural gas is increasing, and a large reservoir like Aphrodite could help meet the demand.”

The appraisal well is part of the development and production plan of the Aphrodite reservoir.

Shell and its partners approved an investment of about $192m to undertake drilling and to cover the costs related to development works in the gas field.

In addition to the drilling work, the approved investment covers pre-feed engineering work required for the development of the field.

Natural gas from the Aphrodite field is proposed to be supplied to the domestic market in Cyprus, and exported to neighbouring countries, including Egypt, and the global LNG market.

Production from the Aphrodite reservoir is expected to commence in 2027.