Greece has received expression of interest from eight firms to conduct seismic and geological research for oil, as it seeks to evaluate possible discoveries in its western seas, the energy ministry said on Friday.
The energy ministry identified the bidders as US's ION Geophysical, Norway's TGS-NOPEC, Dolphin Geophysical and Petroleum Geo-Services, France's CGG Veritas, Spec Partners, Spectrum Geo Ltd and Fugro Multiclient Services.
The firms are interested in conducting research for oil in the Ionian Sea and the sea area south of the island of Crete.
Athens spends between 10 and 12 billion euros a year on oil imports, about 5 percent of its gross domestic product, and wants to start the first test drilling for oil by the end of the year. [Reuters]