Hellenic Petroleum ELPE’s plan to conduct seismic surveys at an onshore license in northwestern Greece’s Arta-Preveza area appears to have run into problems of disproportionate dimensions as a result of resistance by a small number of local residents and other objectors accustomed to opposing such initiatives.
Local authorities, mindful of upcoming municipal elections in May, are paying heed to the danger-mongering of these teams of people, resulting in serious issues for ELPE’s overall hydrocarbon exploration program.
ELPE had already provided local authorities with detailed information supporting the region and its residents would not be impacted in any way by the prospective seismic survey work.
Until recently, local officials, convinced by the ELPE presentation, were prepared to recommend that a license be granted to the petroleum company for its survey work. Instead, local councils of two municipalities in the wider region, Arta and Central Tzoumerka, refused to offer their consent.
As a result, ELPE’s seismic survey plan for Arta-Preveza now appears headed for a delay until after the elections, which will have a knock-on effect on the company’s next scheduled seismic survey, in northern Peloponnese.
Greece must not miss out on the opportunity of discovering major deposits and entering the global petroleum map, which would attract oil majors, industry officials have noted.