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France's Total says tests fail to find gas in area off Cyprus where it has drilling license

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NICOSIA, Cyprus — French oil and gas company Total says a search for oil and gas off Cyprus has failed to find any potential fields to warrant any drilling.

The company said Wednesday that it's now talking to Cypriot authorities on possibly continuing with more exploration work in waters off the east Mediterranean island.

Total is licensed to drill in two areas — or blocks — off Cyprus' southern coast, adjacent to an area where US company Noble discovered a field estimated to contain between 3.6 trillion and 6 trillion cubic feet of gas.

A consortium made up of Italy's Eni and South Korean Kogas is also conducting exploratory drilling off Cyprus.

Cyprus' Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis told the Cyprus News Agency that leaving Cyprus is an option that Total may consider.

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