Total expects Greek parliament approval for offshore exploration, CEO says


Total expects approval from the Greek parliament by the end of the year to explore for oil off the western coast of Greece, the French company’s chief executive told a Greek newspaper.

Greece and a consortium made up of Total, Italy’s Edison and Hellenic Petroleum have signed a lease agreement to search for oil and gas in the Ionian Sea.

“We expect ratification of the agreement by Greece’s parliament by the end of the year to start work,” Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne told Ta Nea newspaper.

Total and other French business leaders will be traveling with French President Emmanuel Macron to Athens on Thursday for a two-day trip.

Oil and gas explorers usually need seismic surveys to determine the location and size of possible oil and gas reserves before they start exploratory drilling.

Encouraged by major gas discoveries off Egypt and Israel, Total has shown great interest in Mediterranean blocks and is currently drilling for oil off Cyprus.

In a consortium with Exxon Mobil and Hellenic Petroleum, Total has also expressed interest in exploration at two sites off the island of Crete, prompting Greece to launch a tender. [Reuters]