A consortium headed by ExxonMobil plans to begin conducting seismic surveys at licenses south and southwest of Crete this winter, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced yesterday, confirming previous energypress reports.
The timing of the prospective surveys is in line with a schedule announced earlier this year by HEREMA, the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company, which envisaged surveys for the winter of 2022-2023.
The seismic surveys are expected to be followed by higher-definition 3D surveys in 2024. If all goes according to plan, initial drilling at the offshore Cretan blocks could take place in 2025 and 2026, which, if successful, would result in development of hydrocarbon deposits in 2027, leading to production in 2029.
ExxonMobil increased its stake in a consortium holding licenses for two offshore Cretan blocks following a recent decision by France’s TotalEnergies to withdraw from the venture. ExxonMobil acquired TotalEnergies’ share to now hold a 70 percent share in the consortium as the venture’s operator. Helleniq Energy, formerly named ELPE, is the venture’s junior partner.
Older seismic surveys conducted in 2015 by Norway’s PGS for Helleniq Energy – operating, at the time, as ELPE – at the two offshore Cretan blocks south and southwest of the island showed promising signs of a major natural gas deposit.