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Politics

French, Italian Consortium Picks Up Energy Hunt Off Cyprus

ΝICOSIA – Setting aside warnings from Turkey, which has ships drilling in nearby waters, a consortium of France’s Total and Italy’s Eni plans to accelerate its hunt for oil and gas in block 6 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said.

She said the team of energy giants wants to pick up the pace in looking for energy at the same time Turkey has disputed parts of the EEZ and is operating in defiance of soft European Union sanctions.

Officials from the companies were to meet Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, whose 10 years in office over two terms will end with new elections in February to choose a new leader for the country, an EU member.

“It is very important to see how we will move forward, as the consortium of Total-Eni, who manage block 6, have shown that they want to move forward with quicker steps in exploitation,” she said, reported The Cyprus Mail.

In December, 2022, Pilides said between two and three trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas had been uncovered in exploratory drilling in block 6 which could prove to be a relatively lucrative find.

Senior fellow at the Global Energy Centre of the Atlantic Council Charles Ellinas told the newspaper that, “It’s good news obviously, although it is a small gas field it strengthens the prospects of the region.”

Pilides said that they are awaiting Chevron’s latest studies – with a view for exports to start in 2027 and that the California company wants to export gas from the Aphrodite field, discovered in 2011, via Egypt.

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