ECONOMY

Exclusive economic zone not needed for oil reserves

Greece does not need to declare its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to exploit the hydrocarbons and natural gas reserves it has, Deputy Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis said in an interview with Kathimerini.

Maniatis said that Greece has been blessed by its geography and its geology, and ought to make the most of its gifts.

He referred to tenders for seismic exploration in three regions – in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete – confirming the interest of Israeli firm Delek for the reserves to the south of Crete.

Asked about the significance of Greece declaring its EEZ for the purpose of exploitation of the reserves, Maniatis argued that the country?s continental shelf is enough.

?As is well known, for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the maritime environment, the continental shelf – which in our case has the same external limits as the EEZ – constitutes a secure legal framework. The declaration of the EEZ is not required for the exploitation of underwater hydrocarbon reserves,? the deputy minister stated.

He went on to estimate that if calculations are correct, the blocks in the Ionian Sea alone will fetch 250 to 300 million barrels of oil, or net revenues of $15-20 billion in 20 to 25 years.

He also believes that the country could cover up to 30 percent of its oil needs through its own reserves.