France's Total renews Cyprus offshore gas search deal

The Associated Press

Total went ahead with the deal despite disappointing results from an initial round of exploratory drilling.

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus says French energy company Total has renewed its license to search for oil and gas in waters off the eastern Mediterranean island nation's southern coast for another two years.

Deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos says the government approved the renewal agreement on Thursday.

Papadopoulos said under the terms of the deal, Total's search area — or block — will be smaller. He didn't specify how much area Total cedes back to the government.

Total went ahead with the deal despite disappointing results from an initial round of exploratory drilling.

The area where Total is licensed to search is situated north of Egyptian waters where Italian energy company Eni announced in August that it had discovered what it called the "largest-ever" gas deposit ever found in the Mediterranean Sea.

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