Four bills ratifying a number of leases for the concession of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in four maritime areas in Crete and the Ionian Sea were submitted to the Greek parliament yesterday by the ministry of environment and energy.
The ministry in charge characterized the development as “a vote of confidence of major international oil companies to invest 140m euros in explorations”, while noting that the ratification of the contracts – the negotiations for which lasted from 2015 to 2019 – reinforce Greece’s extroversion in the growing field of hydrocarbon research and exploitation.
Specifically, the two contracts signed on 27 June 2019 between the Greek State – represented by the Minister for the Environment and Energy and the Greek Hydrocarbon Managing Authority – and Total, ExxonMobil and Greek Petroleum Consortium are being ratified for the “Southwest Crete” and “Western Crete” marine areas.
For the Ionian Sea region of Western Greece, the contract to be ratified was signed on April 9, 2019 between the Greek State and the Repsol-Hellenic Petroleum Consortium.
On the same day, the contract for the “Region 10 Ionian Sea” (in the Gulf of Kyparissia) was signed for ratification, between the Greek State and the Greek Petroleum.
With the ratification of the House, the leasing contracts gain the force of law and enhance Greece’s extroversion in the growing hydrocarbons sector.
Greece has so far made nine maritime and land concessions.
With the House ratifying these four new conventions, the total number will be 13.
This development, in the long run, will further enhance Greece’s energy security and supply, as well as its geo-strategic position as an important energy hub for Europe.
If surveys prove that quantities of gas or crude oil are exploitable, the first drilling is expected to take place in 2020.
Finally, it should be noted that the leases have an initial duration of eight years for the survey period and 25 years for the exploitation period (with the possibility of extension for two years), from the date of the discovery of commercially exploitable deposits./ibna