A large reserve of natural gas off the southern coast of the island of Crete bearing similar features to Egypt’s Zohr gas field and Israel’s Leviathan in the Eastern Mediterranean has been identified by Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management (EDEY) after an analysis of seismic data from a sea area that also included the Ionian Sea.
In a statement, EDEY said that the company’s specialized scientists in the fields of geophysics and geology worked in environments that share common features with other gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean, namely Zohr and Leviathan.
The area in question is adjacent to another area that has been conceded to the consortium of Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE), Total and ExxonMobil.
According to data recently presented during a closed discussion about hydrocarbons by a member of HELPE, the country’s biggest oil refiner, the total gas in place could be as much as 280 billion cubic meters, which would be able to cover Greece’s needs for 70 years – given that the country consumes about 4 billion cubic meters a year.
Overall, on the basis of geophysical-geological studies, EDEY has identified more than 30 targets with a total quantity of gas ranging between 2 and 2.55 trillion cubic meters in an area covering the Ionian Sea and a maritime region west and southwest of Crete. Estimated stocks of crude oil in areas conceded in the Ionian Sea and western Greece are estimated at 2 billion barrels.
EDEY’s publication of the results met with the dismay of the Environment and Energy Ministry, as it was done without its prior knowledge.
“It is technical information that the ministry does not want to comment on,” ministry officials said on Thursday, visibly upset by the attitude of EDEY’s outgoing administration led by Yiannis Basias.
A day before the publication, the Energy Ministry published a notice to fill all the posts on EDEY’s seven-member board of directors.
It was the first time an in-depth study had been conducted in the unexplored area south of Crete.
EDEY said that environmental impact assessments are ongoing, which will enable the acceleration of future procedures and concessions.