“The contracts of Crete can now go to the Court of Auditors for the pre-contractual inspection, and if all goes well they will go through the House and work will start through our joint venture with Total and ExxonMobil.”
So stated Giorgos Mykoniatis, the Director of Health, Safety and Environment at Hellenic Petroleum Hydrocarbon Research and Production SA (ELPE), after the signing by Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis of the decision on the environmental approval of the program for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Western and Southwest maritime regions of Crete.
In an interview with the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency, Mr. Mykoniatis announced that “in the first ten days of April the contracts for the two sea plots in the Ionian and Kyparissiakos will be signed”, he assessed concerning the program implemented by the ELPE in recent years for exploitation of hydrocarbons and presented future planning.
He pointed out that “when in 2012 the debate began to re-heat about whether there is oil in Greece or not, we have the experience and know-how, we started to believe that yes, there is oil potential in the country, we convinced our partners about the ideas we have , our geological ideas, something that exists and the ministry started with three areas at the beginning – Patraikos, Ioannina, Katakolo “.
From the concession contracts that were signed later, the ELPE official notes that the procedures for a drilling sounding in the Gulf of Patras are now more mature ” where we found a promising geological structure, which if it has oil, it means 120-140 million. barrels of yieldable stocks “. He further noted that research drilling will begin in the first half of 2020 “as long as we get the environmental permits.”
Regarding the political will to exploit the deposits, Mr. Mykoniatis observes that this is evidenced both by the recent ministerial decision on the environmental approval of the investigations in Crete and by the contracts that have been passed so far by the Parliament for surveys in Patraikos, Ioannina, Katakolo, and Block 2 west of Corfu.
Regarding the areas of interest, he pointed out that “there are research areas east-west of Thassos, there is oil in the region and we know it”, while “in Western Greece the Adriatic produces, there are deposits there, respectively deposits exist in Albania and these geological structures seem to continue in Greece “and” practically, we are talking about the entire Ionian, descending lower (further south) the geological structures show us similar data about Crete and all this is now a single arc in which we work systematically because we believe there is where the country’s oil potential lies and we should invest in it. ”
Asked about the expected economic and social benefits of hydrocarbon utilization in Greece, he explains that only the lucrative reserves of Patraikos “will pay 200 million a year to the state through taxation from lease agreements and 20 million per annum to local government from the so-called regional tax “, that is, over a 25-year horizon of 5 billion for the state, which through the National Solidarity Fund will be allocated to the welfare state and the country’s social security system, according to the Norwegian model . Similarly, for local communities it explains that “a deposit of 120-140 million barrels over 25 years means 300 direct jobs and 900 indirect”.
With regard to the environmental footprint of research, it asserts that it is zero and that there are myths and realities that each time the company discusses and explains to local societies to alleviate their concerns.
“There is a rigorous European framework, there is a Greek framework, we take all the necessary measures to make the work smooth, without the slightest issue,” he asserted, while referring to ELPE’s Social Responsibility program, he explained: “We conduct actions and carry them out everywhere, whether there is oil or not. It is not our leverage to do actions where there is oil. ”