Total wants to expand gas search off Cyprus coast

Total wants to expand gas search off Cyprus coast

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.

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