Cyprus inks offshore deal with Total
Nicosia, February 7, 2013
Cyprus has signed a deal with France's Total to search for offshore oil and gas, hailing its anticipated energy bonanza as a way out of austerity it faces due to exposure to indebted Greece.
Signing a production sharing agreement yesterday with the third energy major this year, Cyprus said it hoped for a windfall from hydrocarbons beneath the seabed in a largely untapped area of the east Mediterranean.
Any finds are not expected to come ashore until 2018 at the very earliest for domestic consumption, and in 2019 for export.
But commerce, industry and tourism minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said they would bring relief to Cyprus, which is in line for a bailout with the accompanying tough conditions placed on its economy.
A financial bailout for Cyprus could reach up to 17.5 billion euros ($23.7 billion), equalling the size of its economy.-Reuters