Total, Eni to start drilling off Cyprus


NICOSIA, April 6, 2017 – France’s Total on Thursday unveiled plans to start exploration work in Block 11 offshore Cyprus in early July, along with partner Eni.

The two majors will team up in blocks 6 and 11, while Eni will explore Block 8 alone. The licenses were awarded at the third offshore bidding round in December 2016.

At the signing ceremony for the exploration and production-sharing contracts for the offshore acreage, Total expressed an eagerness to start operations.


“We are very excited that we will be active in this field with our partners from Eni,” Eleanor Rowley, Total’s vice-president responsible for exploration in North Africa and the Middle East, told local media.

“We are looking forward to an especially intense exploration programme in the country inside 2017 and 2018.”

Block 11 covers the same play that yielded the Zohr gas discovery in Egyptian waters in 2015. Though it was originally awarded to Total, Eni received a 50% participating interest through an agreement signed last month.

“Of particular significance for the quality of [the two majors’] exploration programmes is the fact that they join forces in block six, a strategic move they have also made recently in block 11,” Cypriot Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said at the signing ceremony, quoted by the Cyprus Mail newspaper.

The news comes a day after ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum signed their contracts for exploration efforts in Block 10 offshore Cyprus.

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