Greece says wraps up talks with Total-led venture for offshore gas drilling


Greece has concluded talks with a consortium led by France's Total for deep sea gas exploration in one block in western Greece, its energy minister, Giorgos Stathakis, said on Wednesday, taking the two sides closer to signing a deal.

In October, Greece named a consortium of France's Total, its biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum, and Italy's Edison as the preferred bidder for the offshore gas drilling block in the Ionian Sea.

The Total-led consortium has bid for one block in the Ionian. Hellenic Petroleum has bid independently for two other blocks in the same region.

Hellenic Petroleum in a venture with Edison, and Energean Oil, Greece's only oil producer, is already searching for oil in three onshore and offshore blocks in western Greece. [Reuters]