Greece has completed two-dimensional (2D) seismic surveys for two blocks off the island of Crete, reported Reuters, citing a state-owned energy resources company.

The work forms part of the country’s efforts to identify potential gas reserves and boost domestic production.

Following the Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2022, Greece has accelerated its exploration plan at six onshore and offshore blocks this year to assess potential gas reserves.

Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (HEREMA) said that the 2D seismic surveys were carried out by processing company PGS offshore Crete on behalf of ExxonMobil and Greece’s biggest oil refiner, HelleniQ Energy.

ExxonMobil and HelleniQ Energy own 70% and 30% stakes, respectively, in the gas exploration rights of the two offshore blocks.

HEREMA was quoted by the news agency as saying: “A total of 12,278km of seismic data were collected against the minimum contractual obligation of 6,500km for the two blocks combined.”

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By GlobalData

The operators will now assess the 2D seismic survey data to enter the next exploration phase.

The next stage of the HEREMA’s gas exploration plan involves the collection of more enhanced 3D seismic data to determine the need for test drilling by the operators.

Greece Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said: “Our goal is to have the first exploration drilling within 2025. We need to discover if a new potential source of wealth exists.”

The country, which earlier produced crude oil in small quantities, attempted to undertake hydrocarbon exploration work.

However, the exploration plans were stalled due to low crude prices in previous years. This forced the country to shift its focus towards green energy.

As per the estimates, Greece holds hundreds of billions of cubic metres in gas reserves, reported Reuters.