Thursday, May 10, 2012

Does another Leviathan lurk offshore Crete?

Pytheas Chairman & Group CEO, Mr. Harris A. Samaras is interviewed by Interfax

At an interview with Interfax’s Editor and Senior Reporter Leigh Elston, Pytheas Chairman & Group CEO, Harris A. Samaras expressed Pytheas’ opinion that Europe is currently confronted with a unique challenge and a remarkable opportunity! The already confirmed and estimated discoveries of substantial hydrocarbon deposits in the Southeastern Mediterranean signify that for the first time ever in Europe’s energy history, the EU may be guaranteed an uninterrupted supply of a traditional energy source!

A most important development (and a pan-European one), especially in view of recent scientific estimates that imply huge hydrocarbon deposits lie in the south and southwest of Crete. A development that the government of Greece has to set as priority and ensure that an appropriate framework and solid plan are put in place in order to commence investigation as quickly as possible.

Extracts from Interfax’s article:

In line with Cypriot ambitions to develop the island into a gas export hub, Harris Samaras, chairman and chief executive of investment bank Pytheas, believes a pipeline to Europe could be compatible with an LNG project. As long as the pipeline avoided the 3,000 metre Herodotus Abyssal Plain, it could be both economically and technically feasible, he told Interfax.

“To build a pipeline will take another 10 years, to build a liquefaction plant will be anything from four to six years. If even half of the deposits exist, let’s say 20-30 tcm, there’s enough gas there to satisfy Europe’s gas demands for at least a century,” he said.

“Cyprus and Israel can commence exploitation with CNG, then with LNG and pipelines. In regard to Greece, it is much simpler; connect Crete to mainland Greece via pipeline and then through Italy to the rest of Europe… but it all depends on how promptly Greece will go ahead with its exploration activities.”

EU involvement

With the future of the government in Athens uncertain, Samaras stressed the importance of EU involvement in both encouraging the exploration of Cretan and Greek gas reserves, and the development of the pipeline.

“This is an opportunity for the EU to limit its external vulnerability to imported hydrocarbons and, at the same time, to provide secure and affordable energy to EU consumers, not to mention promote growth and jobs. It only makes sense for the EU to be more actively involved. Why shouldn’t they when it is the EU that will benefit more than anyone else?” Samaras said.

View the whole article here

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