Source: Thomas Stibon¸ PKF Malta¸ July 2013
The idea of jointly exploiting the sea resources in the Mediterranean and the setting up and coordination of exclusive economic zones (EEZs) between the three countries was first floated a few weeks ago by Mr Samaras who said that energy reserves in the region were part of Europe’s assets and must be exploited.
Two months ago already¸ in a speech at the 12th Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) Conference in Athens¸ Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has called on the European Union to help Athens declare an exclusive economic zone¸ in which it could exploit any hydrocarbon resources¸ and suggested that the EU could profit from uniting the areas in which Greece¸ Cyprus and Malta can explore for gas and oil.
“This is part of our European wealth¸ which we must exploit¸” said Samaras. The Greeks’s Price Minister¸ also suggested for the first time that Greece¸ Malta and Cyprus could cooperate to maximize the potential for hydrocarbon discoveries. “Look at the map and see what great possibilities this creates for Europe.” Results could be better achieved if the three countries worked together on similar objectives¸ he said.
Word confirmed this weeks by himself: Greece wants sea resources exploitation deal with Malta and Cyprus.
The European Commission is working on a proposal by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for joint efforts by Greece¸ Malta and Cyprus on the exploitation of sea resources¸ particularly oil and gas. European Maritime Affairs Commissioner Maria Damanaki¸ who happens to be Greek¸ told that Brussels favoured the idea and was working on a proposal to be published soon. “We are very interested in this proposal and we would like to help in the facilitation of discussions between the countries¸” she said
Malta also confirmed its interest and is planning to hold meetings with the Greek government. “Malta has already taken up the matter with both Greece and Cyprus and¸ in the coming weeks¸ on the invitation of the Greek government¸ a meeting between Malta and Greece will be held.”
But Malta has been trying to strike oil since the 1960s without any success
Gatt¸ a geologist specialised in the geology of the Malta continental shelf¸ based his study on the analysis of rock samples from six exploratory wells drilled in the Maltese platform by oil corporations British Petroleum¸ Total and Shell¸ with some information dating back to 1956. He explained that Malta is “dwarfed” by its neighbouring countries in terms of geological research.
Gatt pointed out that over the past 50 years there have only 12 wells have been drilled¸ while Italy alone has drilled up to 7¸000 wells in the same period.
The geologist said the reason why Malta has never been successful in oil and gas exploration was not down to a lack of