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Greece is preferred for hydrocarbon exploration due to its political stability

03 November 2014 / 13:11:06  GRReporter
2493 reads

Simona Peneva  

     Many foreign oil companies want to participate and invest in hydrocarbon exploration in Greece due to its political stability for the time being, as stated by Mathios Rigas, CEO of company "Energean Oil & Gas". It is currently the only operator of oil and gas fields in Greece and many foreign finances have been attracted to the country thanks to it. One of the oil fields of Greece is Prinos, the daily production of which is 2,000 barrels at a unit price of $83-84. This production requires three persons. So far, 115 million barrels have been produced in Prinos and the certified stocks amount to thirty million for a period of thirty years. This quantity is small compared to international standards but the price of oil allows financing the further development of the activity.
     Mathios Rigas stressed that there is no contamination and that the company has excellent relations with the local community, which are two very important factors for the development of this sector in the future. The funding for the next three years amounts to $220 million. He also announced that this year they will purchase a new, proprietary oil-extracting machine and that so far they have had four machines but their rent is quite expensive. The objective of the company is to increase the production to ten thousand barrels per day. On 18 September this year, the Government approved the inclusion of two new areas in the exploration activities for hydrocarbons as follows: Ioannina for a period of seven years and Katakolo for five years. The funding amounts for the exploration are $50 million and $20 million respectively. "Problems such as bureaucracy in the public sector, the lack of awareness in the local community and the lack of infrastructure must be resolved," said Mathios Rigas.  
     Prime ministers, politicians, company executives, professors and experts gathered in Athens to present through the conference "Capital Vision" their plans for innovation and entrepreneurship, which have the power to take Greece out of the economic crisis. Some of the topics discussed were the restructuring of the Greek electricity market, Greece - an exporter of energy and hydrocarbons, the tourism industry as a driver of economic growth, as well as the chance to create an international maritime metropolis.  
     Head of oil policy at the Ministry of Natural Energy and Climate Change Spiros Bellas said he expects the Journal of the European Communities to make an announcement in the coming days for the exploration activities for hydrocarbons in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete. The period for submission of offers will be six months, their evaluation will last three months and the talks with investors before the signing of contracts will take another three months. He stressed the need for specialized education in the field of oil extraction and processing, so that the state has experts in this field, thus creating new jobs for Greek society. According to him, the other elements required for the flourishing of the oil industry are reliable explorations, stable cooperation and investment. 

     A decisive factor for the Greek economy is tourism. "It is one of the four pillars of the Greek economy. Greece accepts twice as many people as its population," said Aris Sigros, director of "Enterprise Greece". He believes that in order for tourism to develop, there must be a new, improved infrastructure, increased attendance during the winter seasons, and financing. The objective in this sector is to increase the gross domestic product.
     "Wealth is being transferred from the West to the East," stated Nikos Filipas, former Minister of Economy and current director of the Centre for Economic Studies and Programming. In 2013, China was the country with the highest tourist spending, followed by the USA, Germany, Russia, England, France, Canada, Australia, Italy and Brazil. The Chinese spent $1,086 per day on average, and this amount was exclusive of their hotel stay. China represents 35% of the global market and its contribution to the global GDP is 28% now compared to 4.3% before. By comparison, that of Greece is only 0.33%. "Overall, this year there is a rise in tourism worldwide. 52% of travellers are choosing Europe as their destination. What we need to fix is to make the staff friendlier," said Nikos Filipas.  
    Miltos Kambouridis, CEO of "Dolphin Capital Investors" shared his innovative ideas too. He believes there are no super luxury hotels and resorts in Greece that offer many types of entertainment, such as golf courses. Miltos Kambouridis revealed what is true and what is a myth in the tourism business. "There are very few projects that are ready in terms of both funding and permits. In addition, rumour has it that many hotels are sold here. This is a myth and so is the view that the Greeks do not have good service. I would say that we have a great potential to be one of the best in this sector. The truth is that there is heavy bureaucracy and it takes a long time to obtain a permit," he said.
     According to him, the problems are mainly due to the large number of laws and their vagueness, the lack of priorities and slow process related to documents. Capital investment in Greece amounts to 1.5 billion euro. "Greece needs more quality than quantity. There is money, both from investors and customers," said the CEO of "Dolphin Capital Investors".

Tags: Oil explorationGreek economyInvestmentsTourismJob creationGross domestic product
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