Total officials infuriated by Block 2 ratification delay

Strong complaints expressed in person last September by a Total official to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras about bureaucratic delays holding back the French petroleum firm’s investment plans in Greece have not yet led to a comprehensive response from the government.

A month after the official’s protest, a consortium comprised of Total, Edison and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) ended up signing an exploration and exploitation agreement for Block 2 in the Ionian Sea, but, four months on, this deal has yet to be ratified in Greek parliament, an act needed to make the contract official.

Officials at Total are believed to be infuriated by this four-month delay, energypress sources informed.

Speaking a week ago at a conference in Patras, western Greece, on the subject of regional development, energy minister Giorgos Stathakis placed emphasis on the government’s determination to develop the country’s hydrocarbon sector. He noted that licence agreements for fields in northwest Peloponese and Etoloakarnania would be ratified within days but made no reference to Block 2, a field measuring 2,422.1 square kilometers. This has further troubled Total officials.

Last spring, Total had reportedly come close to abandoning its investment plans in Greece as a result of the delays, which are not only affecting the French firm.

ELPE and Energean had submitted respective bids for the aforementioned northwest Peloponese and Etoloakarnania in February, 2015. These offers were accepted in 2016 and contracts were signed last May. However, neither licence has yet to be ratified in parliament.