It seems fair game for anyone that has an uninformed opinion of deposits of Greek hydrocarbons that the country is resting on it laurels. At the same time it seems both premature as to what may be under the surface and also how such potential wealth should be handled. This wealth requires sober and serious reflections from big players and not superficial screams of “Eureka”.
In the 1970s the then Soviet Union Politburo decided absolutely on political terms that it would be useful to its interests to have even more energy dependence from its satellite states. They also thought this energy dependency could be extended to the rest of Europe.
That is how the majestic plan to construct pipelines from Siberia to the heart of Europe took shape. The plan had major technical setbacks due to icy geographies it crossed. And if that wasn’t enough the US Reagan administration imposed an embargo on the vital sales of equipment.
Despite that the pipelines were created because the then USSR politburo decided as much without taking into account costs or a return on invested capital, etc. And the plan in accordance with today’s Putin leadership is based on succeeding due to sufficient natural gas wealth. Now they know approximately where these quantities are. Further, there is knowledge regarding how much will be internally consumed for needs in Russia, in balance with how much of the production will be used for exports.
How does this compare in contrast with the goings on of the last few days with the potential natural gas wealth south of Crete? We have had secret reports to the Prime Minister of Greece that can be segmentally read in blogs as well as the questions of the far right deputies.
These inquiries are perpetuated by reports based on academic findings and by former state owned enterprises civil servants. The latter are circulated as informational briefings from institutions like Deutsche Bank that are often aired on TV by people that are amateurs without understanding any geographical models and related to treasures that we are supposedly are “not allowed to extract.” The theory goes that anti-Hellenic interests don’t allow us to extract them.
In the last ten days we have heard that the natural gas south of Crete is worth millions, if not billions of Euros. It is understood that the government is silently driving this agenda in order to create a positive climate, so necessary in a country where hope seems as a delicate luxury. Yet even amateurs in energy know that unless you drill you don’t know what you have.
As those possessing knowledge would testify, Greece will also need to be prepared in terms of its foreign policystrategy to negotiate under treaties and the auspices of international organizations, should the findings show that the resources are spread in a greater area than the geography of the country.
As for the process, drilling starts as a research procedure and will end in explorations and finds. That is how it works. So, honestly, I really wonder where the mentioned numbers these past days are coming from….
PS. 1. The management of such a “game” is a game for adults. And we have to grow up quickly or else the game may become a large disaster.
PS. 2. We would like to thank “Grecus” for his contribution to today’s editorial.