The Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change received yesterday three applications for hydrocarbon exploration in the regions of western Greece and Epirus. All three applications were submitted by the Italian energy group Enel, and they concern three separate land blocks in western Greece, the northwestern Peloponnese, Aetolia-Acarnania and the area between south Ioannina and south Aetolia-Acarnania.
All the land blocks concerned have previously been explored – unsuccessfully – for hydrocarbons from 1997 to 2001, but Enel, plans to drill deeper..
Greek Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis seemed delighted by the Italian energy group’s interest. “This is not just positive news, it is a vote of confidence in the great national effort that we have launched for the exploitation of mineral resources,” he said.
The ministry is already processing Enel’s applications, with all relevant departments expected to meet with the Greek minister for the environment in the next few days. If exploration permission is granted, rival prospectors will have 90 days to submit their own bids.
Greece spent 15.8 billion euros on fuel imports in 2013, 8.6 percent of the country’s GDP.