The decision of French oil company TOTAL to quit its operation in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone is the result of its inability to locate drilling target areas, information conveyed to the Cypriot government last September, Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said on Friday.
He also noted that the decision was taken way before “Barbaros”, the Turkish seismic research vessel, was sent to the area to conduct illegal exploration activities.
Speaking to the press, Kasoulides said that the government requested that TOTAL stays in Cyprus.
“We asked [the company] to continue the discussions in order to find a legally acceptable solution,” the Minister said, adding that TOTAL “gladly accepted” due to its continued interest in Cyprus` EEZ.
The Minister noted however that the company cannot “generate gas” where this does not exist.
Earlier this week, reports revealed that the French oil and gas giant, licensed for exploration activities in Cyprus` EEZ blocks 10 and 11, was not able to locate drilling target areas, a fact confirmed later by the Energy Minister.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY