Total, Edison sign lease agreement for Ionian hydrocarbon block with Greece


The contract for the concession of oil and gas exploration rights in a block west of Corfu in the Ionian Sea was signed on Tuesday by representatives of Total, Edison and the Greek state. The corporate representatives expressed “realistic expectations” regarding the quality of the hydrocarbon reserves, along with concerns that the concession’s completion could be subject to further delays.

The fact that the contract was not signed until four years after the start of the tender for the 2,422.1 square km block – and two years after the consortium of Total, Edison and Hellenic Petroleum became the selected bidder – explains their concerns. However, they appear ready to begin surveying the Ionian seabed.

Bernard Clement, senior vice president for business and operations at Total’s New Energies Division, said, “The acceleration of procedures would be to the benefit of the consortium and the Greek state.” He also stressed that the three partners expect the contract to have been ratified by Parliament by the end of the year.

Edison representative Maurizio Coratella expressed certainty that there would be good results from the surveys of the area, and Italian Ambassador to Greece Efisio Luigi Marras associated Edison’s participation with Italy’s support for Greece’s effort to become an energy hub for the region.