A signing ceremony scheduled to take place tomorrow for hydrocarbon exploration and production rights concerning at least one of two offshore Cretan blocks will be attended by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose speech is expected to emphasize Greece’s effort to utilize the country’s mineral wealth and also project a message opposing Turkey’s provocative behavior in the southeast Mediterranean.
The energy ministry will sign an agreement tomorrow with a three-member consortium comprised of ExxonMobil, Total and Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) for an offshore license west of Crete.
A second block, situated adjacently southwest of Crete, could also be signed by the two sides tomorrow. But it still needs to be endorsed by a local authority, making the prospect highly unlikely.
Both agreements will first need to be approved by Greek Parliament before exploration work commences. A first phase of exploratory survey work is planned to last three years. If the feedback is favorable, drilling activities will follow after 2022, according to current plans.
Meanwhile, consortiums that have secured licenses for blocks in western Greece are moving to reshuffle their line-ups, energypress sources have reported.
This activity, a common occurrence in the global oil industry, has been attributed to maneuvering by multinationals for moves to blocks seen offering better prospects as well as efforts to seek additional partners for investment cost sharing.
Greece’s geopolitical role and blocks are gaining stature on the international map amid all this activity.