Multinationals ExxonMobil and Total, in cooperation with Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), will stake a claim for a huge maritime area of 20,000 square kilometers stretching from south of the Peloponnese to Greece’s southernmost island of Gavdos.
Kathimerini understands that the agreement among the three firms has been sealed since last September and since then the boards of the US and the French companies have approved the investment of $5 billion each for the surveying and utilization of hydrocarbons in the Greek area.
At the moment ExxonMobil, Total and ELPE are preparing their bid for a fast-track concession of the area in question in southern Greece, as this is an option that the country’s legal framework provides for when an investor interested in a specific area makes a request to the energy minister.
The ministry is obliged to publish an invitation of expressions of interest in the Official Journal of the European Union regarding the area within a month, offering other interested parties the chance to participate. If it fails to draw interest from anyone else, the concession will be granted to the investor who triggered the tender.
The ExxonMobil-Total-ELPE consortium’s bid is expected to be tabled next month, with the aim of having the entire concession process completed by this fall and the seismic surveys started by the end of the year.
The plans of the two multinationals were presented to no less a figure than Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras himself in Athens last Friday, a meeting that was not made public.
The government only confirmed the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis and Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis, and stressed the emphasis placed on “the terms of environmental protection and of transparency, and the optimum benefit for social security.”