TOTAL planning crucial October visit to Cyprus
Top officials from French energy firm TOTAL are expected to visit Cyprus next month ahead of the new round of licensing for offshore exploration in the islandâ€™s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is penciled in for next year.
Media reports on Thursday claimed that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and his French counterpart Francois Hollande had discussed the matter of energy during their meeting in Paris on Wednesday while officials of TOTAL had also sat down for talks with French-speaking Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
TOTAL and Italian energy giants ENI are currently locked in a battle to secure the rights for Blocks 6 and 10. TOTAL have already claimed the rights for Block 11.
Nicosia is set to begin delivering announcements with regards to the licenses in early 2017 with the hope that drilling will commence in March that same year. Cyprusâ€™ EEZ covers more than 70,000km2 and is divided between 13 exploration blocks.
Cyprus and Israel as part of their wider cooperation have agreed to start their gas explorations with Noble Energy. Cypriot and Israeli governments are discussing to export their natural gas through the shipping of compressed Natural Gas to Greece and then to the rest of Europe or through a subsea Pipelines starting from Israel and then leading to Greece via Cyprus.
There are also plans to transport the gas to Turkey despite the Cyprus problem posing as a major stumbling block. According to the Ministry of Energy, applications in the licensing round may be submitted within 120 days of the date of publication of the notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.