Greece’s economic problems are well documented around the world, and a major contributor to the economic troubles experienced throughout Europe. Greece must find a way to reduce their deficit if they have any hope of economic recovery.
Several years ago some basic geological surveys were made in the western seas around Greece to determine the potential for gas and oil reserves. Currently Athens spends between €10 and €20 billion ($13.3-$16 billion) on oil imports each year, this equals about 5% of its GDP. The energy ministry has now decided that increasing the amount of domestically produced oil and gas could greatly help their fiscal situation, and so have started to accept bids for the rights to conduct serious surveys in a 220,000 square kilometre from the Ionian Sea to the island of Crete. So far eight companies have submitted bids. Those companies are; U.S. firm ION Geophysical, Norway's TGS-NOPEC , Dolphin Geophysical and Petroleum Geo-Services and France's CGG Veritas, Spec Partners, Spectrum Geo Ltd and Fugro Multiclient Services.
In order to enable the surveys to take place as soon as possible the Greek government have said they will evaluate the bids and choose up to 3 firms to conduct the search in early April. The work should hopefully only take a couple of months and the seismic data should be ready by autumn and is expected to identify about 15 areas for test drilling.
The energy ministry invited to test for oil on land in the earlier part of this year, with the hope for test drilling to start at the end of the year. So far three blocks have been identified near the towns of Patras and Katakolo which are predicted to hold as much as 250 million barrels of oil.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com