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16° Nicosia,
10 December, 2018
 
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Exxon Mobil to start drilling this week

The name Delphine refers to a mythical dragon that was associated with the ancient oracle of Delphi

Newsroom / CNA

Exxon Mobil's preparations for drilling in Block 10 continue with an intensive pace following the arrival of the Stena IceMax drillship at its target location on Sunday night.

The first drilling to be conducted by the American company in the Delphine prospect is expected to begin by the end of this week. According to CNA sources, the precise start time cannot yet be determined due to technical and environmental factors. The same goes for the duration of the drilling, which is estimated to last about two months. Progress depends on factors such as wind speed, pressure or type of rock encountered during drilling.

After completing the drilling on the first target, the Exxon Mobil drilling rig will move to the "Glaukos" or "Anthea" prospects. The choice will depend, in part, on the findings of the first drilling.

A 10 person strong team of mainly engineers and geologists from Exxon Mobil arrived on the island over the past six months in preparation of the drilling. 

The name Delphine, chosen by the American company, refers to a mythical dragon that was associated with the ancient oracle of Delphi. It is the dragon that kept the water fountain near the oracle safe and according to Greek mythology, was killed by Apollo in order to establish the oracle of Delphi.

The drilling rig will lower its  boring equipment about two kilometers to the bottom of the sea and about two to three kilometers underground. The extent to which the gas deposits are commercially viable depends on a number of factors, primarily the quantity but also the quality of the gas and the depth at which it will be located.

Block 10, which was the most sought after contract in the third licensing round, is considered to be the most promising natural gas prospect in the Cypriot EEZ. 

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