Oil giants interested in Greek reserves


Greek Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis.

Government promises tax cuts to attract them.

Greece is planning to cut tax rates for oil and gas companies as it wants to attract them to help exploit its untapped offshore hydrocarbon resources, Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis said earlier this week.

Under the plan, oil and gas explorers will pay 25 per cent tax, down from 40 per cent currently, and 5 per cent of the tax will go to local communities.

“We have done this in order to incentivise our investors to invest in the future of Greece,” said the country’s energy minister at a media conference in London.

He did not say when the new tax rates would come into effect.

Greece, which spent 15.6 billion euros to import fuel last year, or about 8.6 per cent of its gross domestic product, has launched an ambitious program to discover big hydrocarbon reserves.

It has been inspired by large gas finds offshore from nearby Israel and Cyprus.

Maniatis also announced the tender of Greece’s first large-scale oil and gas exploration licenses after several fruitless attempts over the past decades to make big oil discoveries.

A group of Greek government oil and gas experts met representatives from BP, Shell, Total and ExxonMobil and other oil companies in London this week.

Once the tender is officially published in the near future, oil and gas producers will be able to bid for licences covering 20 blocks located south of Crete and in the Ionian Sea.

Source: Reuters

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