Total appeals Tempa Rossa development delay order

France's Total has decided to appeal a decision by an attorney of Italy's law courts to suspend for a year the development concession on Tempa Rossa oil field in southern Italy.

Feb 18th, 2009

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, Feb. 18 -- Total SA has decided to appeal a decision by an attorney of Italy's law courts to suspend for a year the development concession on Tempa Rossa oil field in southern Italy, a measure prompted by a preliminary investigation that revealed "corruption" and "faked" bids involving some €10 million.

Total expressed indignation over what it described as a "serious and prejudicial decision" at "a very preliminary stage" of the investigations.

The head of Total Italia, Lionel Lheva, and two other executives of the company were put under house arrest last December. Another Total executive who doesn't live in Italy, was also considered implicated. All told, 15 people, including a Democratic Party deputy, are involved.

Tempa Rossa oil field was discovered by an Italian company in the late 1980s. The development concession was awarded to Total in 2002. It is scheduled to be on stream in 2011 with production estimated at 50,000 b/d. Total is operator, and its partners are ExxonMobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

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