Approximately 300 foreign oil companies have been in touch with the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, expressing an interest in the seismic results from a survey in the Ionian sea area and northern Crete, carried out by the Norwegian company, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS).
As reported by the Ministry, their interest suggests that some may proceed to purchase data and then to participate in further exploration, the rights for which the Greek government plans to launch in 2014.
Interest in potential Greek hydrocarbon reserves is expected to increase after March-April, when the ministry will receive the analytic results from PGS. Depending on these, exploration rights could then be sold. Analysis of the data is currently in progress. Once completed it should be clearer whether any commercially viable hydrocarbon deposits are present in Greek controlled areas and whether they relate to oil or natural gas.
A further indication of the interest by foreign oil companies, was the November conference in Athens of the American Association of Geologists (AAPG), which was attended by more than 150 executives of 40 major oil exploration and exploitation companies. Before the November conference, interest was muted. Only two companies (Hellenic Petroleum and Total) had paid the 5 million dollars to access the PGS seismic data and geological studies.
In January the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change will put into operation the so-called “data room” where interested companies will have access to the primary research material.