Energy giant Total, Cyprus agree to extend exploration

The Cypriot cabinet has given the green light for the signing of an agreement with French energy giant Total, allowing the company to extend its exploration off the coast Cyprus until 2016, energy minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on March 11.

In January, he announced that Total was not able to locate drilling target areas within the blocks 10 and 11 in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone that it has been licensed to explore. Total said it was discussing with local authorities a potential programme of additional exploration works in the area.

“We will have a renewed agreement with Total,” Lakkotrypis said. The cabinet approved a change of the agreement with the company, which will enable them to continue their exploration program to better assess potential energy resources in block 11.

Lakkotrypis said the price which Cyprus will sell the gas at will be tied to the price of Brent crude oil, so if the income comes in the years ahead, one should look at the forecasts of oil prices. There is of course, he added, the issue of investment companies, “but if projects like the ones we are currently debating are viable and competitive, investment should not be an issue.”

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(Photo: veetec/