PARIS, Nov 6 (Reuters) - French oil and gas group Total and Italy’s Eni plan to start drilling in a joint exploration block off the coast of Cyprus by the end of this year or early 2018, President Nicos Anastasiades told French daily Le Figaro.
Anastasiades, who is in Paris for an official visit, met Total’s Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne on Sunday ahead of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.
Anastasiades told Le Figaro in an interview that Pouyanne said to him in the meeting that the oil majors would move ahead with plans to drill in Block 6 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 interview.
Eni was awarded the right in December 2016 to be operator of Block 6 with a 50 percent stake in partnership with Total.
Total was the operator of Block 11 in which it agreed a farm-in agreement with Eni for a 50 percent stake. (Reporting by Bate Felix and Marine Pennetier; Editing by Hugh Lawson)