Total, ExxonMobil talk Crete exploration


ATHENS, May 22, 2017 – The Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change announced on Friday that it had conducted talks with ExxonMobil and Total about offshore exploration south of the island of Crete.

A consortium between the two super-majors and Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum are expected to make an offer “in the coming period,” an unnamed government official told Reuters.


According to a report in Greek newspaper Ekathimerini, ExxonMobil representatives had travelled to Greece also in order to acquire a stake in Hellenic Petroleum and thus to seek access to a gas concession in the Ionian sea as well as other assets.

A previous 2013 tender of blocks off of Crete did not receive any bids, but activity in the area has increased since 2015, when Eni discovered the giant Zohr field in offshore Egypt. Similar geological structures were identified in nearby Cyprus and Crete.

“The US oil giant appears to have already reached an agreement with [Hellenic Petroleum] and Total, and its objective on Friday was to sound out the government regarding its support for the program to utilise the country’s hydrocarbon reserves, which is vital for ExxonMobil before it advances to the agreement-signing stage,” the Ekathimerini report said.

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