Greece, Government is now fully committed to supporting hydrocarbon upstream activities

, SEE Energy News

Greek Government is now fully committed to supporting hydrocarbon upstream activities after the European Union decision to end its reliance on Russian natural gas.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has tasked the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company (EDEY) with the carefully targeted restart of its exploration program for areas west and southwest of Crete and for the Ionian Sea. The consortium of Total- ExxonMobil-ELPE holds the Crete license, while ELPE holds the license for the Ionian Sea.

The objective will be the surveying of the three blocks to estimate the level of potential reserves, after which the exploitation stage can begin, provided that the reserves are financially viable. This step should take about two and a half years.

In terms of investment, it will take some 3 million dollars per block for the surveying and about 80- 120 million dollars for exploratory drillings, which could increase up to 150 million in the more difficult technical cases.

The European Commission has prioritized swifter development of renewable energy sources in the EU, but cover will be needed from other energy sources during the transition, which is expected to last many years. The EC is now backing the further maintenance of European nuclear and coal-fired power plants, as well as extraction of oil and natural gas for a longer period.