By Chryssa Liaggou
Contracting consortiums signed on Wednesday the formal agreements with the Greek state for hydrocarbons surveying and utilization in three regions of the country, laying the groundwork for the creation of a new and promising market that will benefit the local economy.
The consortiums have committed to total investments in research amounting to 60 million euros, which – depending on the findings – could reach up to 800 million. The first drillings in the surveying will start off the coast of Katakolo in the western Peloponnese within two years, with retrievable reserves estimated at 5 million barrels. Within three years there will be up to three drillings near Ioannina in the country’s northwest and in the Patraikos Gulf, western Greece, with total retrievable reserves at 300 million barrels (100 million and 200 million respectively).
The contracts with the consortiums (Energean Oil-Petra Petroleum for Ioannina, Hellenic Petroleum-Edison-Petroceltic for the Patraikos Gulf, and Energean Oil-Trajan Oil & Gas for Katakolo) were signed during a ceremony at the Energy Ministry in Athens in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis and his British counterpart Edward Davey, and Canadian Ambassador to Greece Robert Peck.
“We are creating a new market and essentially a new sector in the Greek economy,” said Maniatis, who was deputy energy minister at the start of the decade when the process to utilize the reserves was put into motion.
The signing of the contracts and their expected validation by Parliament bring the first stage in a long process to an end. Maniatis referred to the second, which has already started with Italy’s Enel expressing an interest in three other areas of western Greece, announcing that he is expecting the recommendations of the responsible committee in the next few days. He also spoke of the major round of concessions of regions for surveying that concern the Ionian Sea and the area south of Crete, expected to start next month.