14 June 2013 13:46

 NICOSIA -- French oil firm Total seems to be interested in participating in the construction of a natural gas liquefaction terminal in Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades said Thursday, while noting the company’s effort to accelerate the exploration and exploitation process in its two licensed blocks in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.

According to an official announcement, President Anastasiades concluded on Thursday a working visit in the French capital, and returns to Cyprus on Friday. In statements to the press, he said he was satisfied with his contacts with President Hollande and the President of the French National Assembly.

Following a meeting with the company’s Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie, President Anastasiades said that it was evident that “Cyprus is a priority right now for Total”. He also noted that he discussed with the company the potential for accelerating the exploration process and drilling in the EEZ.

On Total’s interest in participating at the construction of the LNG terminal, the President said that “it seems that [such interest] exists”.

Asked about his meeting with the French President, Anastasiades said that the way of dealing with the crisis solely through austerity seems to change in Europe. He refereed to François Hollande’s commitment to a banking union and a series of other measures, which he said, will also affect the problems Cyprus is facing.

In his statements, Christophe de Margerie said that Total intends to speed up the process for hydrocarbons’ exploration, both natural gas and oil, which could take up to 12 months. The decision to proceed with the drilling would be taken afterwards, de Margerie said.

He noted finally that the company needs the support of the Cyprus President, something which has been confirmed anew during the meeting.


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