ATHENS – Wanting to speed weaning off Russian energy that accounts for up to 40 percent of gas needs, Greece’s New Democracy government has picked five offshore and one land areas for hydrocarbon exploration.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, wanting Greece to have energy independence and also accelerate a move toward renewables such as wind and solar power, held an energy meeting at the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management.
The six areas selected are northwest of the island of Corfu, in the Ionian Sea, the Gulf of Kyparissia and sea west and southwest of Crete, as well as in the regional unit of Ioannina, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.
A consortium heading the energy hunt off Crete will include the French company Total, the US’ ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE,) while an Energean-Hellenic Petroleum group will operate near Corfu, with HELP already active in the Gulf of Kyparissia and Energean in Ioannina.
The other land areas in Western Greece where concessions for hydrocarbon exploration were previously given (Etoloakarnania, Arta, Preveza and northwest Peloponnese) were returned to the Greek state, the paper noted.
An offshore area in the gulf west of Patra, where surveys showed the existence of oil and not natural gas, will probably also be returned to the Greek state.