Greece gives priority in completing hydrocarbon exploration tenders

The participation of two large European companies (Total, Edison) in hydrocarbon explorations is enhancing Greece’s strong international presence and paves the way to other European companies to participate in the exploitation of Greek hydrocarbons, Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis said on Wednesday.

Addressing a seminar organized by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Stathakis said the two large European companies participate in a contract on hydrocarbon exploration in the sea region 2, northwest of Corfu, along with Hellenic Petroleum. The contract was signed recently and will become a model on the new round of contracts to follow soon. He noted that after completion of the contract on sea region 2, talks will begin with Hellenic Petroleum on hydrocarbon explorations in the Gulf of Kyparissia.

Stathakis said completion of hydrocarbon exploration tenders is a priority for the ministry and noted that the most mature project was that of Katakolo, followed by Ioannina and Patraikos -where explorations were currently underway. He said that other priorities was to define other available regions with the aim to attract new interest and to complete a regulatory framework, upgrading the role of a Hellenic Hydrocarbon Management Company and environment protection.

Giannis Basias, president of the Company announced a series of new seismic research round in a region south of Crete and in the region between Crete and Peloponese.

Addressing the seminar, Costis Hatzidakis, New Democracy vice-president, expressed the hope that delays in hydrocarbon explorations would be overcome and noted that contracts were signed 2.5 years after the launch of a tender while in Cyprus this process takes only 10 months. He said that the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Management Company should be independent and have a stable five-year term.

Greece must exploit the shipping and heavy metals industry beyond being a hydrocarbon producer and a regional energy hub, Giannis Maniatis, PASOK deputy and former Energy minister said in his address and noted that state proceeds from the contract in Patraikos Gulf were expected to reach 150 million US dollars annually.

Constantinos Mihalos, president of the Athens Chamber said exploitation of hydrocarbons is the biggest opportunity for Greece in the years ahead.