Major energy deals involving Greek and US interests were announced at Friday’s American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce conference held in the context of this year’s Thessaloniki International Fair, which officially opens on Saturday.
In the presence of US Under Secretary for Energy Mark Menezes, US Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey Pyatt and ExxonMobil representative Tristan Aspray, Greece’s Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis announced the completion of negotiations for the concession contract regarding the surveying and utilization of hydrocarbons south and southwest of Crete with the Total-ExxonMobil-Hellenic Petroleum consortium. He added that the contract will be signed next week.
In the context of the conference in Greece’s second city, Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and Gastrade also signed the agreement for the participation of DEPA with a 20 percent stake in the terminal floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) that Gastrade is developing off Alexandroupoli in Thrace. Sources say some issues on the price and the approval of board members are still pending, while DEPA’s final stake could change, depending on the other holdings that may emerge.
DEPA chief executive Dimitris Tzortzis further announced the confirmation of a contract with US company Cheniere concerning a liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot cargo due to be delivered in 2018. “We have cooperated for many months with the top US natural gas exporter, and this cooperation is unique in that it concerns a virtual pipeline through the Atlantic,” said Tzortzis.
Menezes stressed US support for the so-called South Corridor pipelines: the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB). He also conveyed the strong opposition of US President Donald Trump and his administration to projects such as Nord Stream II and TurkStream, which, as he said, will strengthen the quasi-monopolistic position of Russia in the broader region.