Greece signed a formal agreement on Thursday with the companies ExxonMobil, Total and Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) to research and exploit the natural resources located south and west of the island of Crete, in the Mediterranean Sea.
Many high-ranking officials, including Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, attended the Thursday morning ceremony which celebrated the signing of the landmark agreement.
Also in attendance was George Stathakis, Greece’s Environment and Energy Minister, Christophe Chantepy, the French Ambassador to Greece, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Ambassador to Greece, as well as representatives from the three companies involved.
The groundbreaking agreement was made between the Greek state and a consortium comprised of the American company ExxonMobil, the French energy company Total and the ELPE energy companies.
”Today is a historic day, because Greece is making a big and decisive step to capitalize on its energy wealth,” Tsipras said in his opening remarks at the signing ceremony.
Ελλάδα και Κύπρος προχωράμε με καλά σχεδιασμένα και συντονισμένα βήματα στην αξιοποίηση των ενεργειακών μας πόρων. Προχωράμε συντονισμένα για να δώσουμε στους λαούς μας, στις γενιές του μέλλοντος, προοπτική, οικονομική ευημερία και ασφάλεια. pic.twitter.com/Nzle7lVRDM
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) June 27, 2019
“This development offers another perspective to Greece’s geopolitical role, but at the same time another development and economic outlook in Greece,” the prime minister underscored.
“Greece, like Cyprus, is proceeding with well-planned and coordinated steps to the utilization of our energy resources,” Tsipras said, noting that these were not actions carried out for ”show purposes,” but were efforts aiming “to create good prospects, economic prosperity and security for our people and future generations.”
Projects like @ExxonMobil @Total @HELPE_Group exploration of Greece’s energy wealth will help diversify Greece’s economy beyond tourism and shipping, increase its geopolitical role & attract more US investors. My remarks from signing ceremony with @YPEKA: https://t.co/vevoGB77lM pic.twitter.com/R2gdFQvgdy
— Geoffrey Pyatt (@USAmbPyatt) June 27, 2019
American Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt also heaped praise on the new agreement, noting that Greece is now emerging as a “major European energy hub.”