US, French ambassadors and consortium leaders welcome hydrocarbon contract off Crete

The signing on Thursday of the Greek state's lease with the joint venture Exxon Mobil, Total and Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) for exploratory hydrocarbon drilling west and southwest of Crete is an important step in increasing Greece's role as an energy hub, US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said. In a brief address during the signing ceremony, Pyatt said that the act is yet another sign of the revival of Greece's economy. "Projects like ExxonMobil, Total and HELPE Group exploration of Greece's energy wealth will help diversify Greece’s economy beyond tourism and shipping, increase its geopolitical role & attract more US investors," the American ambassador said. Also hailing the agreement was French Ambassador Christophe Chantepy, who noted its significance for Greece and Crete in particular, adding that the signing shows the country's determination to benefit from development opportunities with companies of international standing. HELPE President and CEO Efstathios Tsotsoros called the signing a landmark day, and said it succesfully completes the first part of HELPE's strategic plan in research and hydrocarbon production and results in a decisive partnership with leading global companies like ExxonMobil and Total. HELPE, he said, has established that 10 areas in Greece may likely hide significant hydrocarbon beds, while he made special note of the company's commitment to protecting the environment in practical ways. Bernard Clement, Total Group's Vice President for the Caspian & Southern Europe and Exxon Mobil International's Jonathan Wilson, New opportunities Manager, each expressed satisfaction for the project and said their companies are bringing to Greece their know-how and experience to optimize the benefits for Greece. The participating companies' share in the project is as follows: Total 40%, ExxonMobil 40%, and HELPE 20%.

ViaDiplomacy Newsroom