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Calypso, an evocative name given to Eni’s recent gas discovery offshore Cyprus

Updated: Feb 16, 2018

“she who hides the knowledge”

Calypso was the Ogygian Nymph of greek mythology, “she who hides the knowledge”. Just like the Nymph, the new carbonate trap located west of the Eratosthenes platform hid what is reported to be the second most important gas discovery of the last few years in the Eastern Mediterranean until discovered recently through the skill of Eni’s explorers. The presence of Isolated Carbonate Platforms (ICPs) in the E Mediterranean has been known since the discovery, in the 90’s, of shallow marine carbonates by ODP boreholes at Eratosthenes (the all-rounder philosopher, mathematician, geographer).

The discovery of a major gas field at Zohr by Eni in Egyptian waters in 2015 demonstrated the potential importance of these systems as hydrocarbon reservoirs and the recent discovery of Calypso confirms the widespread distribution of this promising play.

The question is now: where are similar carbonate structures hidden in the Mediterranean and what do they contain? What do Calypso and her sisters and brothers still conceal?

Little is known about these structures from subsurface data. Seismic data often do not have sufficient resolution to unveil their distribution and depositional architecture, and the scarcity of subsurface case histories in the Mediterranean Region, creates an urgent need for surface analogues to enable a better geographic, geometrical, stratigraphic and sedimentological assessment of these targets.

Strata Georesearch (, a spin-off of the University of Chieti-Pescara (Italy), is engaged in a regional review of Meso-Cenozoic ICPs in the Mediterranean Region, including proven plays from the Central and Eastern Mediterranean and combining outcrop and subsurface data. The aim is to increase the understanding of these attractive targets to increase the efficiency of both exploration and development phases of exploitation.

This study, the preliminary results of which have been recently presented at the ICE AAPG meeting of London (October 2017), identifies areas in which ICPs maybe present, based on paleo-geography, and defines criteria to enable the identification of the systems in the subsurface, as well as discussing the processes controlling their initiation and development. The report is currently being finalized and will contain information on the size, geometries, depositional architectures, and types of carbonate factories associated with these ICPs with the aim of assisting Petroleum Geologists in evaluating the hydrocarbon potential of these systems in the Mediterranean Region.

For further information on this report which will be available from 2Q 2018, please contact us at

L.Montadert, Ø.Lie, P.H.Semb, S.Kassinis (2010) - New seismic may put offshore Cyprus hydrocarbon prospects in the spotlight. first break volume 28, April 2010

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