Greek PM says country to set up ‘national hydrocarbon company’

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday announced plans for setting up a “national hydrocarbon company” to prospect for natural gas and oil deposits in the Aegean and Ionian seas.

Speaking at a meeting with officials at the Environment Ministry in central Athens, Samaras said that speeding up exploration for hydrocarbon deposits in Greece is one of the country’s “greatest comparative and geopolitical advantages.”

He also praised the involvement of Greek scientists in efforts to tap the country’s energy potential as a “prerequisite for the successful development of natural deposits that may generate wealth.”

Samaras spoke of the “strategic alliances” Greece has forged with foreign exploration companies, stressing the potential of the Ionian and the area south of Crete. He also said that international competitions are currently under way for exploration off Ioannena and Katakolo, and in the Gulf of Patra.