Greece to speed up gas exploration to cut reliance on Russia

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Greece will speed up gas exploration as it looks to cut its reliance on Russian energy, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a meeting held at the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management company, Mitsotakis said Greece aims to complete its first test drilling in more than two decades by the end of 2023.

One land and five offshore areas have been selected for the accelerated hydrocarbon process. This includes an area northwest of Corfu, in the Ionian Sea, in the Gulf of Kyparissia and in the sea west and southwest of Crete, as well as in the regional unit of Ioannina.

Mitsotakis said this decision was made in the face of the ensuing international energy crisis due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Accelerating the exploitation of the country’s national energy resources will allow us, if we are lucky and we have exploitable natural gas fields, to boost our energy independence, our energy security,” Mitsotakis said.

Mitsotakis at a meeting held at the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management company.

The Prime Minister added that whilst Greece aspires to become a hub for the storage and transfer of gas to the rest of Europe, this will not undermine the country’s plan to boost green energy and cut carbon emissions by 55% by 2030.

“It is simply an alternative path towards the same target,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, this expansion will eventually allow Greece to export gas to its northern neighbours Bulgaria and North Macedonia, which are also heavily reliant on Russian gas.

Source: Ekathimerini.

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