Total says Cyprus is a “thrilling prospect” for 2017 with the firm set to drill its Block 11 in April. Eni’s 30 tcf 2015 Zohr discovery was in Egyptian waters just 6km to the south. Total eyes similar geology.

The French firm refutes reports of delayed drilling due to uncertainty over its local base. “The issue at Limassol has been resolved, with no delays,” it says.

Total is set to snag a second Cyprus Block, 6, in partnership with Eni, in the country’s...