Investors who have leased maritime blocks off western Greece and Crete to search for hydrocarbons have completed initial surveys and will decide whether or not to continue their research programs, including the potential of exploratory drilling, in 2024.

The first round of subsurface mapping covering a total of 12,583 square kilometers wrapped up this year and cost 53 million euros. The oil companies that conducted them are now analyzing the data to evaluate the content and quality of what appear to be natural gas deposits.

The Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management, scientists and executives from the companies involved have said that results are encouraging, with potential deposits possibly large enough to eventually export to Europe.

The Greece-based refinery and petrochemical concern HELLNiQENERGY is involved in all seven of the seismic surveys, but in some cases is operating in partnership with other companies. The locations where seismic surveys have taken or will take place are in the Ionian Sea, the Gulf of Kyparissia, northwest of the Ionian island of Corfu, and sea regions southwest and west of the large island of Crete.

The surveys off northwest Corfu are being conducted together with Energean while the research off west and southwest Crete is run with ExxonMobil.

In October the CEO of ATHEX-listed HELLiQENERGY, Andreas Shiamishis, explained that upon processing the data it may be found that 3D seismic surveys are required off the coast of Crete. If this is the case, then they will delay a decision for this area until 2025 and exploratory drilling will be delayed until 2026.