ENI and Total ‘join forces’ for Block 6

Energy giants ENI and Total have reportedly defied threats from Turkey and joined forces to go after Block 6 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), according to media reports on Saturday.

On Friday, six applications, from eight companies, for exploratory drilling rights in blocks six, eight and, ten in the island’s EEZ have been received from eight different companies.

The names of the interested companies and consortia will be announced on Wednesday, 27 July following their disclosure to a scheduled plenum of the cabinet and President Nicos Anastasiades.

But reports in Phileleftheros on Saturday claimed that Italian energy firm ENI as well as fellow French energy company Total have formed a consortium to go after the exclusive exploration rights for Block 6. The two will also reportedly go after the rights for Block 10 – a move that is expected to anger Ankara.

Turkey disputes Cyprus’ economic zone and has even sent exploration vessels into Cyprus waters – a move that has in the past derailed talks in the Cyprus problem between the two communities.

The joint bid was reportedly made to give the two firms more financial muscle in the licensing round against contenders said to be from the United States, the Gulf, Israel, Central America and Northern Europe.

According to procedures, the six proposals will be evaluated by the relevant advisory committee which will prepare an advisory report and to make recommendations.

The report will be the basis of which negotiations between the companies and the state with regards to the final terms for the Exploration and Proportional Production Allocation contract.
The cabinet will have the final say in awarding the licence.