Cyprus, France's Total to cooperate on gas plant

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus and French energy company Total have agreed to cooperate on developing a planned natural gas processing facility in the bailed-out country.

In a statement Thursday, they say a facility that will liquefy gas for export to European and Asian markets will be their top priority as they try to turn a profit on any newfound offshore deposits. Total is licensed to search for gas in two areas, or 'blocks', off Cyprus' south coast.

Cyprus has already signed a similar deal with U.S. firm Noble Energy and Israel's Delek and Avner. The three companies are partners in a Cypriot gas field that's estimated to contain 3.6-6 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Cyprus has also licensed Italy's ENI and South Korea's Kogas to search for offshore gas.

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