By Nefeli Tzanetakou
The four plenary leases to grant the right to explore and exploit hydrocarbons were ratified by the Greek Parliament, with the positive votes of SYRIZA, New Democracy (ND), Democratic Alignment (DISI) and Potami.
These contracts concern Marine Area 2 in the Ionian Sea and mainland areas in Arta-Preveza, Aitoloakarnania and the Northwest Peloponnese.
Speaking in Parliament, Minister of Environment and Energy, Giorgos Stathakis, said: “We should not adopt festivities for Eldorado and future revenues of billions. With methodical moves, seriousness, sobriety, transparency and special care for the strict protection of the environment, we are taking steps to put all existing possibilities in the hydrocarbon sector to use.”
The contracts that have been ratified have attracted the interest of international energy groups: French Total and Italian Edison.
A model agreement for those to follow will be the Convention for Marine Area 2 in the Ionian Sea, with Total, Edison and Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE).
This Strategic Environmental Impact Study explicitly excludes Natura sites and provides a safety zone of 1km.
In this context, the Ministry of the Environment and Energy is proceeding with the acquisition of new seismic data and gradually redesigning regions in order to re-announce them with a new dimension and structure.
The political choice of the government is that environmental protection is central to the whole effort to explore and exploit the hydrocarbon deposits.
“Greece has fully incorporated the relevant European legislation, which is the most stringent internationally, with emphasis being placed on Natura Protected Areas,” said Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis, asserting that none of the conventions foresees the application of the fracking technique.
At the same time, today, March 5, the competition process that began after the joint venture ELPE, Total and American ExxonMobil for the two sea areas, west and southwest of Crete expressed interest, is to be concluded today.
Delphi Economic Forum III – CEO HELPE:
“A dominant feature of globalization is the strong interdependence between states and in Energy”.
“Greece fulfills all the prerequisites for becoming a strategic hub – energy, transit and storage – in SE Europe, because of its strategic position and the important infrastructures it has developed”, HELPE CEO, Grigoris Stergioulis, argued during his speech at the 3rd Economic Forum in Delphi, Greece.
As he noted, there is a great interest in projects under construction or under consideration, such as:
– The TAP, IGI-Poseidon, EastMed gas pipelines, the upgrading of Revythoussa, as well as the creation of the floating LNG station in Alexandroupolis, known as FSRU.
– The electrical interconnections of Crete – Mainland Greece and EuroAsia interconnector, which will cover three countries – Israel, Cyprus & Greece.
– The further development of 1200-1600 MW in photovoltaic and wind farms in Greece within the next 3 years.
Hellenic Petroleum has acquired – through international competitions – research rights in the areas of Patras Bay as the consortium manager with Edison, Corfu in a joint venture with Total & Edison, as well as in the mainland areas of Arta-Preveza and NW Peloponnese.
A dominant feature of globalization, according to the CEO of the HELPE, is the strong interdependence between the states due to the lifting of restrictions on the movement of goods and services, capital and information, a development that has catalytically affected the Energy Market, now allowing its transportation and consumption away from its place of production.
In 2017, the total supply of 4.7 bcm of natural gas for Greece was covered by 57% from Russia, 20% from Algeria and 13% from Azerbaijan, while equally important were the cross-border electricity transactions with Italy, Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria and Turkey with total net imports of 6229 GWh, corresponding to 12% of annual demand in the Interconnected System.