ATHENS (Dow Jones Newswires), Oct. 6, 2011
Greece in January will invite offers for oil exploration off its western shores in the hopes of tapping reserves of some 280 million barrels, the junior energy minister said Thursday.
Yiannis Maniatis said the cabinet had approved drilling in the gulf of Patras, the sea region west of Ioannina and Katakolo off the Peloponnese coast, the semi-state Athens News Agency reported.
"It is the first time Greece is taking such a step, and it will be done in complete transparency," Maniatis said according to the agency.
A contractor is expected to be appointed within a year.
The gulf of Patras is thought to hold some 200 million barrels of crude oil, while another 80 million barrels are believed to lie near Ioannina and another three million near Katakolo.
The cash-strapped Greek state, which is struggling to escape default, could draw up to EUR14 billion over the next 15 years, ANA said.
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