by Aggelos Skordas
Greek Ministry of Energy has disclosed the consortium which will conduct hydrocarbon searches off the western and northwestern coasts of Crete. Specifically, US oil titan Exxon Mobil, French Total and Greek Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) have submitted the winning bid and awarded permission to explore for oil and gas. The areas of the search covers 19,868 sq.km and 20,058 sq.km, respectively.
The green light for the hydrocarbon exploration was signaled by Energy Minister George Stathakis last week after the three energy companies held a series of negotiations with the Greek oil and gas resources management agency Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management (HHRM) which initially approved their bid. The consortium was the sole bidder with the US and the French companies holding 40 percent each, with the call for tenders going out in December 2017.
Before the three companies bring their drilling vessels to Greece the deal must be approved by Parliament and reviewed by the Court of Auditions.
IUS Exxon Mobil and French Total are among the energy companies already conducting searches in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
According to state-run news agency ANA-MPA, HHRM head Yannis Bassias indicated that the finalist for hydrocarbon exploration in the Ionian Sea (HELPE-Repsol) will be submitted to the Energy Minister