Greece is expected to announce initiatives to accelerate natural gas exploration in the Ionian Sea and in Crete after Russia threatened to cut off supplies to Europe.
According to a report in the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA), the aim of the initiatives will be:
- To conclude seismic surveys, which give the first indications for the possible existence of deposits, in 1-2 years, ie in 2023-2024.
- To complete research drillings, which confirm the size and the economic figures of the exploitation of the deposits in 3-4 years (2025-2026) and
- To start gas production in 6-7 years (2028-2029).
As officials stated to AMNA, the goals are realistic compared to the schedule of other countries in the region, such as Egypt and Israel.
They also cited the example of Hellenic Petroleum, which carried out seismic surveys in areas of the Ionian Sea in February within a few weeks.
But cooperation from all parties involved will be needed to overcome the current obstacles, and time is running out not only because of the crisis but also because of the EU’s anti-pollution policy, which still aims to become independent from hydrocarbons.