The recent Greek elections have brought a new party to power that is rethinking offshore deals
Greece will review tenders offered on 20 offshore oil and gas blocks in the Ionian Sea and off southern Crete due to be signed by the end of the year, Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said today. The new leftwing government in Greece will be reviewing major privatization deals throughout the country, reports Reuters.
Lafazanis said in a statement the new government would not stop a tender on three oil and gas blocks in western Greece for which bids on are due to be submitted on Friday, but that it would be looking again at 20 offshore blocks.
The previous government of center-right Prime Minister Antonis Samaras invited bids on the blocks, which cover more than 200,000 square km (approximately 77,220 square miles), last year and expected bids by May this year with contracts signed by October.
Turkish research vessel is a ‘provocation’
While the new Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and his government reconsider offshore deals in their own country, they have also called on their neighbor Turkey to recall a research vessel from waters where the Cypriot government has licensed other companies to drill. Prime Minister Tsipras called the research vessel’s presence a “gross violation of international law.”
Turkey does not recognize Cyprus as a state and says that a unilateral search for gas by Greek Cypriots flouts the rights of Turkish Cypriots. Tsipras called on Turkey to recall the vessel so that peace talks to reunify the ethnically divided island can resume on Monday.
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