Greece Plans National Hydrocarbon Company

antonis samarasGreek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on June 5 Tuesday announced plans for setting up a “national hydrocarbon company” to prospect for natural gas and oil deposits in the Aegean and Ionian seas.

Speaking at a meeting with officials at the Environment Ministry in central Athens, Samaras said that speeding up exploration for hydrocarbon deposits in Greece is one of the country’s “greatest comparative and geopolitical advantages.”

He also praised the involvement of Greek scientists in efforts to tap the country’s energy potential as a “prerequisite for the successful development of natural deposits that may generate wealth.”

Samaras spoke of the “strategic alliances” Greece has forged with foreign exploration companies, stressing the potential of the Ionian and the area south of Crete. He also said that international competitions are currently under way for exploration off Ioannena and Katakolo, and in the Gulf of Patra.

Unable to get back on its feet despite two bailouts of $325 billion, Greece will need more foreign investors and to find other ways to create revenues, the Premier has said, and there are hopes it could tap into what could be hydrocarbon reserves in the seas around it.