Chinese firms invited to bid for Greek oil

Greece has invited Chinese firms to bid in a tender for deep-sea oil and gas exploration later this year after Athens extended the bidding process in March.

Chinese firms invited to bid for Greek oil

Greece, which depends on financial aid from the EU and IMF to stay afloat, has made several fruitless attempts over the past 50 years to find big oil and gas reserves.

The debt crisis then prompted the country to step up these efforts to boost revenue.

The left-wing government of Alexis Tsipras has given investors two more months until July 14 to submit their bids for test drilling on 20 offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea and off southern Crete in a bid to sound out more potential suitors.

Energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and Chinese ambassador to Greece Xiali Zou are discussing the issue, the Greek energy ministry said in statement.

The envoy has committed to informing Chinese oil firms about the Greek tender and the two sides have agreed to organise visits by Chinese businessmen to Athens to discuss technical details of the process, the ministry said.

After a visit to Moscow in March, Lafazanis, who represents the far-left flank of the government, said big Russian firms were expected to take part in the tender.

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