Total readies drills off Cyprus


France’s Total is preparing to drill for gas off Cyprus, close to ENI’s huge Zohr discovery off the Egyptian coast which in 2015 renewed interest among oil majors for exploration in the Mediterranean.

Cyprus awarded ENI, Total and ExxonMobil exploration licenses near the Zohr field in December.

“Obviously the Zohr discovery has changed the landscape,” Stephane Michel, Total’s president for Exploration and Production in the Middle East & North Africa, told Reuters on Thursday.

“It is clear the decision to drill Block 11 was taken on the basis of the Zohr discovery,” Michel said, adding that preparations were in the final stages but there was no date yet when drilling would begin.