ECONOMY

Oil and gas exploration licensing round in first half of 2014

Greece plans to hold a licensing round for the exploration of oil and natural gas in the Ionian Sea and south of the island of Crete in the first half of 2014, the Energy Ministry said on Friday.

The Nordic Explorer research vessel of Norway?s Petroleum Geo-Services ASA will on Sunday begin a three-month-long seismic survey of the Ionian Sea and the maritime zone south of Crete in an area that covers a total 220,000 square kilometers, which is 40 percent larger than mainland Greece, the Athens-based ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

Processing and interpretation of the data from the survey should be completed by mid-2013, with the aim of holding the licensing round for exploration blocks in the first half of 2014, according to the statement.

[Bloomberg]