Total wants to expand gas search off Cyprus coast

TAGS: Energy, Cyprus

An official of French energy giant Total said on Monday that the company wants to expand its search for gas off the south coast of Cyprus.

Speaking after a meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Total’s Middle East exploration chief Stephane Michel said the company has applied for an exploration license in Block 8 where Italian company Eni has already secured a license to drill.

This will be the third block, after 6 and 11, where the French and Italian companies will cooperate. Lakkotrypis described Total’s interest in Block 8 as a “very important development.”

Nicosia sees it as a confirmation of its commitment to explore for gas off the island’s coast, just months after Eni called off drilling in Block 3 due to a blockade by Turkish warships.

Ankara has announced that it will begin drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean during the summer but has not clarified where.