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mareforumcyprusLadies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour to be present here today. 

We are living in especially troubled times. Europe is again facing a serious threat to its energy security. 

The hope that popular protests in the Arab world would result in peace and democracy, have been dashed. 

We see the chaos and despair in North Africa and the Middle East; the spread of terrorism, especially the advance of the Islamic State; Syria and Iraq are in a state of prolonged and bloody war; 

Refugees from Syria are floating the Greek coasts and are seeking a way to build a new home somewhere in Europe, while European governments show extremely sceptical towards this new immigration wave.

Libya is in anarchy and Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey face internal challenges and discontent. These are above all events of human malaise, pain and sorrow. But they also have serious implications for energy security. 

Greece, which is strategically located at the crossroads between East and West, is a pillar of stability in this volatile environment. A member of NATO and the EU, it is taking concrete steps to promote peace, security and regional cooperation based on common values, while respecting our Partners history and culture. 

It is a commonplace that energy can strengthen a country, but it can also bring a country to its knees. It can bring substantial prosperity and alter the development model, but it can also intensify inequalities and poverty. 

The coming geopolitical reversals and thirst for energy, render imperative the search for tactical and strategic alliances, based on which, we can develop at least a supplementary role. 

 The EU is the largest energy importer in the world, importing 53% of its energy, at an annual cost of around €400 billion, while an appropriately interconnected European energy grid could save consumers up to €40 billion per year.

We look forward to enhance our cooperation in the fields of energy security, route and source diversification and infrastructure development. We believe that the regions of East Mediterranean, South East and Central Europe as well as Black Sea, stand to gain from fruitful cooperation between friendly governments in the context of energy.

Greece is becoming a physical gas hub in SE Europe given the delivery of Caspian volumes though the Southern Gas Corridor and TAP, access to LNG near Athens and the 2 FSRU projects in the North Aegean, as well as the potential of the development of gas resources in the East Mediterranean. 

The “Vertical Corridor”, which connects Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, represents an excellent source diversification option for the region. Greece, as an entry point for LNG is, by far, the most cost-effective option for enhancing the energy security in SE Europe well before 2020. We see it as the organic growth of the existing network.


The next project that we have initiated is the East-Med Pipeline, connecting the Levantine gas fields from Cyprus to Israel with Greece and Italy. 

In the long-term, East-Med with its around 8 to 12 bcm, will be a reliable option for exporting Levantine gas, and this is why Israel, Cyprus and Italy have publicly declared their support to the project. 


As a new crucial parameter, I particularly underscore the importance of the recent discovery of the Zohr gas field in Egypts Exclusive Economic Zone, which with its 30 Tcf, seems to be the largest gas discovery ever made in the Eastern Med.

Recently, the Greek and Russian Ministers of Energy have signed the Greek Russian Memorandum on Hellenic Stream as the extension of Turkish Stream. Hellenic Stream will cross northern Greece, in order to continue toward FYROM, Serbia, Hungary and other interested countries. 

At this point, let me stress that Greece and Cyprus, two brother nations, two European member-states, have been constructively and closely working together, in the framework of what I proudly call the Greek-Cypriot Strategic Energy Dogma.

One year ago, we held the first trilateral summit between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, at the level of Heads of State and Government. 

Greece has strategically intensified bilateral relations with Israel, including in the fields of energy and the environment.

Russia (as our strategic energy partner), Algeria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania are countries with which Greece has close and constructive energy relations.

The fact that 12 of the EUs Projects of Common Interest 7 of which are gas related, - concern Greece, shows our countrys importance for Europes energy security and its prospects as a transit and pricing hub in South East Europe.  

The exploration and exploitation of domestic oil & gas resources is essential in all areas where the Hellenic Republic exercises sovereign rights in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

The need for a new, sustainable development model encompasses natural resources and especially hydrocarbons that can play a vital role for the provision of new public revenues. 

Our obligation to reattribute the value of hydrocarbons wealth to the Greek society and to support at the greatest possible way the next generations, has been demonstrated through the foundation of the National Account of Social Solidarity for New Generations.

The offshore western Greece and South of Crete comprises regions of high prospectivity with great geological similarities and analogues to Albania and South Italy, where oil and gas fields are already discovered and are under production. I strongly believe that these areas can create an eye-catching investment opportunity for oil and gas exploration and production. 

We have made the first steps. Crucial steps, but not sufficient ones. Greece needs to be explored, Greece needs to see the effort continuing, Greece needs to be stable. Greece needs to eliminate any remaining bureaucratic impediments and try to offer incentives to anyone who has been proven able and committed to exploring and exploiting the hydrocarbon potential.

With full respect for the environment and to the benefit of the Greek economy, the local societies and the next generations.

Key prerequisites are persistence, seriousness, reliability and stability. These conditions can build an environment where investors can express their trust towards the country and their interest in new investment projects. 

In view of the renewed international interest for oil and gas exploration in the East Mediterranean, but also in the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, there is a need to develop a regional support and services sector, for the upstream industry.  

Hydrocarbon exploration and production, requires careful long term planning, availability of human resources and access to ample capital resources, in order to fully realize the potential.


Greece, by possessing large-scale infrastructure such as oil refineries, an LNG terminal in Revythoussa, experienced fleet of oil tankers, and a successful metal industry, hopes to improve its positioning in the region also as facilitator, and to enhance its role in the international energy scene, by establishing an Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production Support Base for Mediterranean Southeast Europes emerging upstream.

Ladies and gentlemen,

No country can function in a vacuum. The volatile geopolitical scene does not leave room for complacency. 

Greece is facing three overlapping crises: the economic, the refugee as well as a crisis of security respectively the result of the instability in the broader region. How we address them at the national, regional and global level, will determine the measure of our success to overcome all the associated challenges. 

If our response leads to a greater catastrophe by erecting walls, generating greater poverty and exclusion, then we will have failed. However, if through our work we can decisively restore security- and if overall we manage to establish a new model focused on development and address the refugee and immigration flows humanely and efficiently, then we will have succeeded.  

We need a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of the problem, especially the resolution of conflicts. 

We are committed to exert every effort at our disposal to address - as a matter of priority- the humanitarian aspect of the crisis by preventing further loss of life at sea in cooperation with the countries of origin and transit, in order to combat the activities of smugglers. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

The global energy system is in a constant state of change, evolution, rebalancing, and upheaval. 

When we are looking toward the energy system of tomorrow, let us not be blinded by what is happening today. 

Short term changes are important, but what matters more to our societies, is what we can expect in the long term. 

World leaders should not look only to what is happening today, but what tomorrow will bring. 

Vision and leadership is what we need.

Thank you.


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Βιβλία Γιάννη Μανιάτη

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