ECONOMY

Greece to survey off Crete, Ionian Sea for possible natural gas reserves

Greece to survey off Crete, Ionian Sea for possible natural gas reserves

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed on Wednesday that Greece will restart its surveying program for the regions to the west and the southwest of Crete and the Ionian Sea in western regions, as it seeks to disengage from Russian natural gas.

“Our attention will return to the potential domestic gas fields west and south of Crete and in the Ionian Sea. We must, first and foremost, know what potential reserves there are and whether they are economically viable,” he told lawmakers during the presentation of a Finance Ministry bill, while presenting a government plan to diversify the country’s energy mix.

The plan, he said, includes boosting domestic renewable energy sources, exploring any gas fields and the interconnections agreed with other countries, such as the one launched with Egypt.

These pillars “are the backbone of our future national energy mix,” he added.

Specific announcements will be made next week.

Greece imports about 40% of its gas from Russia and also has contracts with Azerbaijan and Algeria. It does not produce any gas itself and any efforts to explore for gas and oil within its territory have stalled in recent years due to the lower oil prices.