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French firm Total and Italy’s Eni, the key holders of exploration acreage offshore Cyprus both last month saw their respective licenses, which were due to expire this year, extended by a further two years. Neither firm gave details of whether it has committed to drilling any wells by the new 2018 expiry date.
Both firms had previously indicated that they would quit Cyprus (MEES, 10 April 2015), but everything changed with Eni’s August 2015 discovery of the supergiant Zohr field in nearby Egyptian waters.
Not only has Total, which holds Block 11 bordering Eni’s Egyptian Shorouk block that contains 22 tcf Zohr, extended exploration there, it has also asked Nicosia to re-award it Block 10, which it relinquished last March on the back of disappointing seismic. The government is “looking into it positively provided legally it is possible,” Mr Charles Ellinas, head of the country’s state oil firm until 2013, tells MEES. (CONTINUED - 480 WORDS)