France’s Total Wants to Expand Energy Drilling Off Cyprus

Stephane Michel, right, a senior executive with French energy company Total talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace, in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA — With Turkey still trying to keep foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus where they are licensed to explore, the government said France’s Total wants to expand its operation to look for hydrocabons.

Energy Minister Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said Total is looking to expand its activities in Cypriot waters “in a variety of ways,” but didn’t say what they were or why he couldn’t as the talks are still in progress with the company.

He spoke after enior Total executive Stephane Michel met with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades who said the talks focused on ways to meet the common goal of “exploiting as many energy-producing sources as possible.”

In April, Michel said Total had applied to carry out exploratory drilling in an area south of Cyprus where Italian company Eni is already licensed to search for gas but was driven off by Turkish warships under threat of being sunk.

There was no information on whether the French company would face the same problem and be challenged by the Turkish ships. Italy’s government did nothing to help Eni but an American company also looking in a different area of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ,) part of which Turkey won’t recognize, proceeded as ships from the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet were in the area conducting operations, which the US government said was purely coincidental.

Stephane Michel a senior executive with French energy company Total talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace, in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who doesn’t recognize Cyprus and bars its ship and planes at the same time he wants Turkey to be admitted to the European Union – to which Cyprus belongs – said unless Turkish-Cypriots are allowed to take part in the drilling that they would begin their own.

Negotiations to reunify the island fell apart in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when he said he would never remove an army on the northern third unlawfully occupied since a 1974 invasion and wanted the right to militarily intervene – invade further – when he wanted, which Anastasiades refused to discuss.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

Stephane Michel, left, a senior executive with French energy company Total talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace, in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Total is looking to expand its search for oil and gas off the coast of Cyprus and are looking to partner up with Italian energy firm Eni. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Stephane Michel, a senior executive with French energy company Total arrives at the presidential palace for talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Total is looking to expand its search for oil and gas off the coast of Cyprus and are looking to partner up with Italian energy firm Eni. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

1 Comment

  1. French Energy company Total…. is looking for new investments, since, they were driven out of their Iranian oil and gas exploration operations by the United States withdrawal from the Iranian Nuclear Agreement in which France was a signee! Importantly, the empire has never fulfilled any conditions of the International agreement, and now has imposed further economic sanctions on Iran…and will sanction those companies of the world …who do not comply with the empires interests! Therefore, they are bullying the other members of the agreement ….to renege on a treaty…which Iran has fully complied with! Publically, the French and other members claim they will honor the agreement with Iran. However, Total , has clearly demonstrated….that money is their masters…not morality or honor…and have complied with the United states, not their own countries desires! The end result of this …is Iran who has honorably stated they will not respond to this crime by not complying to not develope Nuclear weapon, because they never had a Nuclear weapons plan in the first place…but the Jewish lobby and the boys fr!om Israel… who seem to have taken over much of the congress of the United States….have payed big money to make Iran …an enemy of the United States! This Fascist alliance…is looking to overthrow the government of Iran..and war …like that against libya, Syria, Iraq,etc ete is again the preferred choice of a bunch of Degenerates! And why not… an apartheid state…that just recently, murdered 61 unarmed civilians protesting their confinement in the only open air prison left in the world!
    Total…while proven to be unreliable…and a entity that can be blackmailed by foreign countries, should be much more comfortable in being allowed by the empire to maintain their operations off the waters of Cyrus…since, it is a country that has surrendered their sovereignty to Nato, and therefore, is an approved country of Washington, which the world is allowed to do business with!
    Michael Gianakos

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