Cyprus backs Total-Eni partnership in offshore gas drilling


NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus has licensed a consortium made up of France’s Total and Italy’s Eni to search for hydrocarbons in another area that the east Mediterranean island nation has exclusive economic rights, the country’s energy minister said Tuesday.

Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis said the two oil companies will each have 50% rights to Block 7, one of 13 areas composing the country’s exclusive economic zone off its south coast.

Total will be the designated operator in the block which borders three others where deposits of natural gas have been discovered. It’s believed a gas field found in the adjacent Block 6 that also belongs jointly to Total and Eni may extend in to Block 7.

Lakkotrypis says the government has also approved Total’s participation in four other blocks where Eni had a license. Total’s rights to the four blocks range from 20% to 40%.

The two companies are now partners in seven blocks. The government also approved a 12-month license extension to five of those blocks.

A partnership between ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum and a consortium composed of Texas-based Noble Energy, Israel’s Delek and Dutch Shell, have licenses for a block each.

Lakkotrypis said that starting from late this year or early 2020, there are plans by all licensed companies to drill up to nine wells.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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