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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-02-27

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] "Greek state may get 150 bln euros from hydrocarbon deposits"

  • [01] "Greek state may get 150 bln euros from hydrocarbon deposits"

    ANA-MPA -- There is strong evidence of significant hydrocarbon deposits in Western Greece, Epirus and the Ionian Sea, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Wednesday, after chairing a meeting at the environment, energy and climate change ministry. Based on estimates, their exploitation may generate to 150 billion euros in revenues for the Greek state in the next 25-30 years, the premier said.

    In addition to chairing the meeting, Samaras also visited the ministry's data room, where all the data collected so far in hydrocarbon exploration throughout Greece is held. In statements, he also referred to Tuesday's agreement with Gazprom to lower the price of natural gas and said this must be passed on to consumers, lowering energy costs for households and giving a strong boost to the economy's competitiveness.

    The prime minister outlined plans for a new national energy strategy along five main axes, including:

    Hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, which he stressed will be conducted with transparency, respect for the environment and with the employment of as many Greek technical staff as possible

    Exploiting the geopolitical consequences arising from the country's position and the role it can play in the movement of energy resources to Europe.

    Boosting social cohesion by directing revenue from hydrocarbons to the country's social insurance system, along the same lines as the system used in Norway, and to build infrastructure.

    Establishing synergies with other sectors of the economy, so that the country's energy resources become a springboard for an overall improvement in competitiveness.

    Establishing the country as an energy hub in the research, production and distribution of energy products.

    According to Samaras, the implementation of this strategy would require daring, planning and international alliances. He said that all contracts relating to hydrocarbon exploration and drilling, starting with that for the Patras Gulf and Ioannina that are due to be completed soon.

    With regard to a 15 pct reduction in the natural gas price negotiated with Gazprom, the prime minister said that the new price for Greece was much closer to the European average and lower than prices in the surrounding region, changing the picture that had existed before.

    Statements were also made by Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, who outlined the progress made in hydrocarbon exploration efforts so far and said that Greece now had reasons to feel optimistic. He also thanked Samaras for his contribution to efforts to exploit the country's hydrocarbon reserves.


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