Reuters — A consortium that includes Total and Exxon Mobil has submitted an expression of interest in oil and gas exploration and exploitation in two sites off the Greek island of Crete, the energy ministry said on Wednesday.
Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum is the other company in the consortium.
Greece has launched an ambitious programme to discover more oil and gas, encouraged by recent large gas finds in the eastern Mediterranean and spurred on by its protracted financial crisis.
“If there is evidence of the existence of exploitable hydrocarbons, it is certain that our country will enter a new era,” Hellenic Petroleum Chairman Efstathios Tsotsoros said in a statement.
As far back as 2011, professor Foskolos a university of Crete professor and hydrocarbon expert, based on existing surveys, had assessed that deposits of natural gas in the sea region between Plakia and Frangokastelo, south of the island of Crete, amount to 1.5 trillion cubic metres.
Professor Foskolos has in the past been critical of the slow pace of the exploration by the Greek state and the reluctance of successive Greek governments to declare an EEZ to the south of Crete.