The Hellenic Hydrocarbons Resources Management Company (HHRM) is expected to conclude negotiations by the end of June, with the Total-ExxonMobil-Hellenic Petroleum Consortium for concessions west and southwest of Crete, and with the Repsol-Hellenic Petroleum consortium for the Ionian Sea.

If there is agreement on the terms of the contracts, a recommendation will be made to Environment and Energy Minister Yorgos Stathakis for them to be signed, reviewed by the state’s Court of Audit, and ratified by parliament.

HHRM president Yannis Bassias said the aim is for the entire procedure to be completed by the end of the month.

The concession regions are considered high risk, but also with high returns, as the waters are very deep and the cost of drilling will be high

However, it is believed that when the companies are ready to proceed with drilling in a few years, deep sea drilling technology will have improved for depths of over 3,000 metres.

HHRM believes that completion of the concessions in the Ionian and near Crete will facilitate efforts to consolidate new seismic studies in the sea zone south of Crete, so as to determine the geological characteristics of the area.