ATHENS – Greece’s accelerated push to find sustainable energy forms hasn’t set aside fossil fuels, with US’s Exxon Mobil joining the country’s HelliniQ petroleum company to complete a seismic survey off the coast of Crete.
It was a two-dimensional (2D) look through two blocks off the island at the same time trying to discover more gas the state-owned energy resources company said, reported Reuters.
Greece hasn’t conducted massive hunts for oil and gas with previous efforts yielding relatively little but is trying to wean itself off reliance on Russian supplies that were exempted from European Union sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
The war made Greece turn again toward exploring six onshore and offshore blocks, aiming to get a first idea of potential gas reserves later this year, the news agency report noted.
Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (HEREMA) said processing company PGS finished the work on behalf of the two energy companies, the US firm having a 70 percent interest and HelliniQ the rest.
“A total of 12,278 kilometers (7,629 miles) of seismic data were collected against the minimum contractual obligation of 6,500 kilometers (4,038 miles) for the two blocks combined,” it said, adding that the operators will now process and evaluate the data before they decide whether to enter the next exploration phase.
Under HEREMA’s gas exploration plan, that would collect 3D seismic data which will determine whether the operators will conduct a test drilling after earlier data showed structures similar to recent gas discoveries off Egypt and Cyprus.
“Our goal is to have the first exploration drilling within 2025. We need to discover if a new potential source of wealth exists,” Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said, the report also added.
Greece also has temporarily returned to coal-fired plants to generate electricity and is looking to further use wind and solar after stalling for years to develop green energy alternatives.