21010 - We mustn’t miss the second chance of promoting the reserves of the Greek EEZ

E. Conophagos, N. Lygeros, A. Foscolos
Translated from the Greek by Athena Kehagias

Ever since 2010, and as soon as the price of oil began its upswing, reaching the above $80 per barrel level, we had repeatedly and publicly urged the Greek government to take initiatives as soon as possible in regards to the emergence and location of possible Greek deposits within the Greek EEZ.
Today oil prices are redused to the 2009 price level, ie $40 US dollars per barrel, and no one can be certain of how long the situation will remain as such.
Up until now, the Greek bureaucracy regarding the granting of hydrocarbon exploration and research rights within the Greek EEZ, never took into account the “time” factor, the so called “timing”, in the process of relevant decision making, re: the initiation of attracting investment for the promotion of our mineral wealth.
Resulting from this lack of high strategy, was the loss in the recent past, of valuable investment opportunities, with prices ranging between $80 and $110, while simultaneously, in the recent licensing round of the 20 marine plots in the Ionian Sea and those south of Crete, with prices ranging around the $50 per barrel, only 3 Companies responded, an independent one, and three in a joint venture (10% efficiency) regarding three marine plots (15% efficiency).
On the contrary, the second licensing round of Cyprus, which occurred at the proper “timing”, with oil prices at around $100 per barrel, 33 Companies responded with offers, in 15 consurtiums (efficiency125%), regarding 9 out of the 12 marine plots available for granting (75% efficiency).
Based on all the above, we find that the “competent” Ministry always acts with quite fast processes when it comes to cases regarding hydrocarbon imports to our country, and ignores the speed and the timing within which the potentials for the exploitation of the Greek EEZ’s hydrocarbon deposits, should be promoted.
Because we believe that it is never too late, and considering the fact that all international scenarios indicate that there will be a new upswing in oil prices, we assume that we must finally, either at a cross-party, or above political party level, or even at a Prime Minister level, to establish a fixed strategy aiming at the highlighting and exploiting of the underwater mineral resources of the Greek EEZ, in combination with the in emergence mineral resources of Cyprus, Egypt and Italy in order to function both in the European context but also in the Eastern Mediterranean field.
We can observe from the estimates, that there will be a second investment window around about 2020, so it would be wise to be ready prior to this time, since that is possible.