Greece will begin the process of opening up new onshore oil and gas prospects to exploration next year, the chief executive of the country’s oil and gas resources management company said on Monday.
Among the first will be the Greek region of Grevena, close to where the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will cross, Yannis Bassias, head of the Hellenic Hydrocarbons Resources Management (HHRM), told Reuters in an interview.
TAP, which will bring new gas supplies from Azerbaijan to Italy, runs across northern Greek territory.
“As of next year, and perhaps earlier, we will begin announcing that we are opening the door to whoever is interested in onshore sites,” Bassias told Reuters.
HHRM, an independent body, would start compiling data packages for Grevena and central regions too, he said.
Bassias noted he expected the first new offshore and onshore drillings to begin in two years, provided bureaucratic hurdles were overcome.
He was also confident that firmer crude prices and a more stable political climate in Greece would attract prospectors to the remaining 17 of 20 blocks in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete which were unsuccessfully offered in 2014.