ATHENS – Without revealing where it it, the state-owned Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE,) the country’s biggest oil refinery, said seismic research suggests that there is a giant oil field in Greece that may be as large as the massive Zohr field found by Egypt in the East Mediterranean.
In a presentation,, Yiannis Grigoriou, HELPE’s General Manager for Exploration and Production of Hydrocarbons, said that seismic depictions of the Zohr field bear similarities to an area that HELPE is exploring.
The next step is drilling to determine if the indications are accurate but it was said the potential quantities may be 280 billion cubic meters, enough to cover Greece’s needs for at least 70 years or almost into the next century.
Environmental groups aren’t thrilled about the prospect though. In March, Conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned against hydrocarbon exploration off the Ionian island of Zakynthos where the previous government under the Radical Left SYRIZA had reportedly set aside some 17,000-square kilometers (10,563 square miles) of the popular tourist island to oil companies for exploration.
“About a third of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the Ionian islands comes from tourism. So, imagine the scenario of a minor or greater oil accident and what does that mean for these islands,” Director-General of WWF Greece Dimitris Karavelas said at the time.