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Greece launches gas and oil exploration in the Ionian Sea without Albania’s consent

               Publikuar në : 11:12 - 26/05/17 ad min

Greek government has granted concessions to the naval and terrestrial concessions in the north to the Peloponnese through an agreement signed in Athens on Thursday afternoon at the Greek Ministry of Energy, by Minister Jorgos Stathakis and the concession-winning companies.

The Greek Ministry  published only the agreement and not the naval map where physical searches will be conducted, adding doubts that they will affect the negotiable part between Greece and Albania.

Meanwhile, for land searches, maps and coordinates were published normally. Among the concession-awarded areas is “Joni 2”, the quadrangle stretching north of the island of Corfu, part of which is overlapping in the controversial area between Albania and Greece.

This area was awarded to the Consortium “Total France”, “Elpe” and “Edison” Italians, where the first drilling is scheduled to be completed within 2018.

The representative of Elpe stated that the consortium is convinced that there are large reserves of gas and oil in the area. Even the Greek Energy Minister has expressed the conviction that research will succeed and has stated that in a few years world energy maps will change and Greece will be at the center of positive change,  “TCH” reports.

The “Joni 2” box is located within the exclusive economic zone of Albania, but according to the agreement on water demilitarization with Greece between Albanian Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha and Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, a large part of it passes the area Exclusive economy of Greece.

The agreement between the two countries was overturned by the Albanian Constitutional Court and has not been ratified by the respective parliaments. Apparently this situation did not prevent Athens from initially negotiating with Norwegian seismic search companies, providing a search area which, after the official Tirana reaction, was carried out at night under the protection of the Greek Coast Guard.

After seismic research, Athens decided to advance drilling with probes, despite the fact that searches in the area should have at least Tirana’s agreement, or to be wholly legitimate, another water demilitarization agreement between the two countries.

For Athens, this part remains Greek territory, and Greece has also handed over its geographic coordinates to the UN maps department without a result of a new negotiation or agreement between the two countries.

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