Senior ExxonMobil officials are expected to arrive in Athens in the next few days to sign an agreement with Hellenic Petroleum and France’s Total regarding the hydrocarbon surveying work in Block 2 beneath the Ionian Sea, in western Greece.
Using Hellenic Petroleum as a vehicle, the US energy giant is strengthening its position in the broader region of the Southeastern Mediterranean – where the competition of the global oil industry has shifted to – six months after its arrival in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
ExxonMobil’s presence in Greece lends credence to indications about the existence of hydrocarbon reserves in the area. It is also expected to accelerate geopolitical developments in the region.
The Americans have been involved in discussions with Hellenic Petroleum for many months, concerning their possible participation in all six areas conceded for surveying by the Greek group (in the Gulf of Patra, blocks 1 and 2 in the Ionian, Block 10 in the Gulf of Kyparissia, and in the onshore regions of northwestern Peloponnese and Arta-Preveza). Talks are also said to have included new regions that ExxonMobil is interested in, such as Crete.