French oil company Total and Italy’s Eni are reportedly planning to start drilling in a joint exploration block off the coast of Cyprus by the end of the year or in early 2018.
According to Reuters, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades met with Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne on Sunday in Paris ahead of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.
Reuters cited Anastasiades’ interview given to French media outlet Le Figaro. In the interview, the President of Cyprus said that the Total CEO Patrick Pouyannee informed him that the oil majors would move ahead with plans to drill in the block despite disappointing drilling results from Block 11.
“Yes, (block 11) was disappointing in terms of quantity, but the results are very promising for future drilling. It confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, an extension of the Zohr field in Egypt,” Anastasiades said in the Le Figaro interview, Reuters reports.
Eni acquired a 50 percent participating interest in Block 11 from Total in March. As for Block 6, Eni was awarded the right to be the operator with Total as its 50-50 partner back in December 2016. The Italian company also holds a 100 percent interest and operatorship in Block 8.
Blocks 6 and 8 were awarded as part of the Cyprus’ third licensing round.