Total, ELPE chiefs to meet at economic forum in Athens today

The head officials of ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) and French petroleum giant Total are scheduled to meet in Athens today during an economic forum at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, organized by Greek and French business leaders as part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s official two-day visit to Greece, concluding today. Both Macron and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are scheduled to attend the forum.

Patrick Pouyanne, Total’s president, who is scheduled to meet ELPE boss Stathis Tsotsoros (photo), is visiting Greece for the second time this year. Pouynanne was also here in May for a European Round Table of Industrialists. The Total boss had met with Tsipras on that occasion.

Total and ELPE, along with ExxonMobil, make up a consortium taking part in an international tender for exploration and exploitation rights concerning two offshore Cretan blocks, one south of the island, the other southwest.

The tender, whose deadline expires in November, was launched by Greece’s hydrocarbon sector authority as a result of an interest expressed by the three oil companies in the aforementioned regions off Crete.

In comments offered yesterday to Greek daily “Ta Nea”, Pouyanne highlighted Total’s investment interest for the Ionian Sea and off Crete. The Total chief also expressed confidence of an imminent Greek economic recovery and satisfactory growth rates in the near future.

Total, which is currently conducting its first drilling venture off Cyprus, co-signed an agreement for Block 2 in the Ionian Sea last March with ELPE and Italy’s Edison. The investment trio is now awaiting Greek Parliamentary approval for this agreement by the end of the year before preliminary work is launched.

As for the two blocks off Crete, two ministerial decisions signed by Greek energy minister Giorgos Stathakis were published in the government gazette last month. These decisions detail the boundaries of both blocks, neasuring 19,868.37 and 20,058.4 square kilometers, respectively.

Appraisal procedures of the Cretan block bids will be completed no later than 60 days following the tender’s November deadline, while licensing agreements will be signed within 60 days of the appraisal’s completion, according to the international tender’s terms published in the government gazette.