‘ExxonMobil plans to invest €5bn for Crete exploration’

Global oil industry giant ExxonMobil has committed itself to investing 5 billion euros for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation in the Greek market, Economy and Development Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou told investors at the 12th annual London roadshow of Athens-listed firms, as part of the government’s wider effort to present Greece as a market now beginning to attact major investments.

The minister made reference to a series of foreign investment plans for the Greek market, including that of ExxonMobil.

Sources have confirmed the ExxonMobil intention to set aside 5 billion euros for investments in the Greek market, developments permitting.

An international tender offering exploration and exploitation licenses for offshore blocks west and southwest of Crete is still in progress, meaning that the minister’s reference to ExxonMobil does not represent a finalized investment plan. Rivals, such as Chevron, for example, could suddenly emerge with a better offer, or the tender could sink.

ExxonMobil has joined forces with France’s Total and Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) for the Crete tender.

It should also be reminded that, besides Prinos, in the country’s north, no other location in Greece has yet to produce confirmed hydrocarbon deposits. All is still at a speculative stage.

By comparison to Papadimitriou’s hasty remarks concerning ExxonMobil’s investment plan for Greece, energy minister Giorgos Stathakis has remained far more reserved.

Bidders for the Crete hydrocarbon international tender, offering two offshore blocks, one south of the island, the other southwest, measuring nearly 40,000 square kilometers in total, face a December deadline.

Offers will need to be submitted to EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company. According to the tender’s terms, bids will be appraised within 60 days of the deadline and contracts signed within 60 days of the appraisal’s completion.