Energy Minister: Hydrocarbon contracts to be ready by end of year

The contracts for hydrocarbon exploration in the Ionian Sea and southwest of Crete will have been completed by the end of the year, Environment and Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis told the Med Petroleum Summit in Athens on Monday.

At the same conference, the head of the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management, Yannis Bassias, said that the first drilling off Patra and Katakolo will take place by the end of next year after the contracts were awarded earlier than planned.

Off Patra, according to Hellenic Petroleum, there are serious indications that the undersea reserve contains 140 million barrels of oil.

BaĻƒsias added that Greece’s geological characteristics are similar to other parts of the eastern Mediterranean where there have been in recent years significant discoveries in countries such as Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. This means that the size of hydrocarbon reserves, if confirmed, could be in the range of 3 to 30 trillion cubic feet.