ELPE, Total, Edison sign deal for Corfu Block 2 exploration

A consortium comprised of ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), Total and Edison signed an exploration and exploitation license agreement with the Greek State in Athens today for offshore Block 2, west of the Ionian island Corfu.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis described the deal as a turning point and vote of confidence for the Greek economy.

He also spoke of a wider interest in the area by major players, adding that a new tender offering another offshore block in the Ionian Sea, as well as blocks south and southwest of Crete, would soon be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ).

The energy minister took the opportunity to inform that gradual progress is being made on a renewed tender planned to offer 17 offshore blocks that failed to draw investor interest through an initial effort.

“Conditions are now different. The east Mediterranean has found itself at the center of attention, a development that bolsters the significance of today’s agreement,” Stathakis remarked.

He highlighted the knowhow and elevated technological ability possessed by the Block 2 consortium members.

Officials representing all three consortium members at today’s signing ceremony noted they have high expectations for Block 2.

Total’s Bernard Leman, in charge of the French company’s Caspian and south European operations, pointed out that Block 2 could develop into a very beneficial field for the Greek economy and boost the local hydrocarbon market’s future development.

The signing ceremony, organized by the energy ministry, was hosted at the new National Library building in coastal southern Athens. Attendants included French ambassador to Greece Christophe Chantepy and his Italian counterpart Efisio Luigi Marras.