NICOSIA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Cyprus and France's Total signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday onthe feasibility of participating in an LNG project on theisland.
Total's subsidiary Total E&P Cyprus received a concession toexplore for hydrocarbons in two areas offshore in February.
The MoU recorded the support of Total for the monetisationof potential gas reserves in both blocks, through a variety ofoptions, giving priority to liquefaction and LNG export toEuropean and Asian markets, Cypriot authorities said in astatement.
Cyprus discovered natural gas offshore in 2011, followingmajor finds by neighbouring Israel in the east Mediterraneanover the past three years. U.S. based Noble reportedlast month it had found around 5 trillion cubic feet of gas inone area south of the island.
That company is also engaged in talks with Cypriotauthorities for the development of the LNG terminal.
Cyprus hopes the terminal, which will cost about $6 billionto build, will be used as a hub for exports from the region.
Energy officials estimate work could tentatively start in 2016to facilitate exports by around 2020.
In addition to Noble and Total, Cyprus has signed productionsharing contracts with Italy's ENI and South Korea'sKogas.
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