Greece’s Parliament ratified on Wednesday the tabled contracts for hydrocarbon exploration in four areas, off Crete and Ionian Sea region.
Government MPs KINAL and Greek Solution voted in favour the proposed concessions with main opposition SYRIZA expressed reservations whilst the Communist Party and MeRA25 voted against them.
Deputy Environment and Energy Minister, Gerassimos Thomas acknowledged that the SYRIZA government had negotiated the contracts, and the current government “recognises that provisions of Greek and EU legislation have been fulfilled.”
The contracts include the sea area designated ‘Ionio’ (Spain-based consortium Repsol Exploracion/Hellenic Petroleum or HELPE); ‘Block 10 Ionian Sea’ in the Gulf of Kyparissia, SW Peloponnese (HELPE); and the maritime areas ‘West of Crete’ and ‘Southwest of Crete’ (consortium of Total, ExxonMobil and HELPE).
Provisions of the contracts for the Cretan and Ionian beds include an 8-year limit on exploration, and a 25-year limit on exploitation. If hydrocarbons are found, the state stands to gain 40% of the total investment revenues, broken down as follows: 20 pct as income tax plus 5% as regional tax, with the rest being income on royalties based on a rising scale linked to hydrocarbon volume.