February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Hydrocarbons: ExxonMobil accelerates drilling in Crete despite Turkish threats

Continued tensions in the Aegean from Turkey do not appear to be affecting offshore hydrocarbon exploration off Crete.

The atmosphere of tension that the Turkish leadership through the mouth of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been cultivating in the Eastern Mediterranean lately is “directed”, experts say, to explore the Aegean Sea, and Turkey does not want Greece to use its energy wealth.

At the same time, the statements of the “sultan” cause concern among the inhabitants of the islands, who fear a possible hot epidemic in the Aegean Sea.

The Greek side has clearly stated its position that it is pointless to threaten and intimidate it through government spokesman Yiannis Ikonoma. “Our plans for drilling operations are unchanged. This is a plan based on international law, well thought out, balanced and allowing the country to use every opportunity to increase our wealth,” Ikonomou said.

“Greece today is a very strong country. Our country, Greece, does not accept proposals and threats on how to pursue its foreign policy, the policy of sovereignty and sovereign rights. Greece is not a country that threatens, is not threatened or intimidated” added a government spokesman.

ExxonMobil, seems to pay no attention to the Turkish provocation and continues to work normally with hydrocarbons in Crete. Moreover, according to Kathimerini, the American company has accelerated the deadlines, so that in the first days of next month, seismic surveys in the south of the island will be completed. As planned, there will be a period of evaluation of the data and results of the studies, so that in early 2024 investment aspects can be considered and a decision on drilling can be made.

This does not mean that drilling rigs will be introduced in the same year, which is expected to happen in 2025. It is worth noting that, according to the original plan, this was supposed to happen in 2026.

According to Kathimerini, the American energy giant provided assurances to the Greek side that the ongoing tensions in the Aegean will not affect the company’s plans in the Crete region. The security guarantees for the project appear to have been given by the US leadership, and Athens, for its part, is reiterating its support for ExxonMobil’s exploration program.

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