ATHENS – Greece’s Environment and Energy Ministry on 9 April signed two contracts for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Ionian Sea.

The first contract signed between the Greek government and Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE Group) concerns the granting of the right to prospect for and exploit hydrocarbons in Block 10 in the Gulf of Kyparissia in the Peloponnese.

The second contract was signed between the Greek government and the consortium of Spain’s Respol and Hellenic Petroleum for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Ionian Sea area, Western Greece.

Greece’s Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis stressed that the drilling will take place respecting “the strictest” European Union’s environmental regulations.

“Practically, with these two contracts that were signed today (9 April) and the two pending contracts concerning the two offshore areas south and southwest of the island of Crete with the consortium of ExxonMobil, Total and Hellenic Petroleum, which we will sign in Chania, we wrap up a big cycle of allocating contracts for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons,” Stathakis told a ceremony at the environment and energy ministry in Athens, adding that in two to four years there will be a clear picture of the size and the extent of the hydrocarbon deposits.