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article imageOp-Ed: Greece's unexploited oil and gas attractive to U.S. Geithner

By Katerina Nikolas     Aug 4, 2012 in World
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been holding telephone conversations with Greek Prime Minister Anthonis Samaras regarding Greece's return to economic stability. Or perhaps the talks had more to do with Greece's rich oil and gas deposits.
It came as no surprise to read To Vima's report that U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been holding talks with the Greek Prime Minister. Geithner told Samaras "We must become more dynamic, more creative and more efficient as to appease the financial pressures, which cause so much damage to growth."
Geithner's name has cropped up many times recently in the excellent blog by John Ward, the Slog, with speculation that the U.S. is planning to ride to the rescue of Greece in the event of a split with the Troika, in order to facilitate U.S. desires to grab the rights to Greece's rich oil and gas deposits. Perhaps Geithner's creative, dynamic solution is to exploit Greece's need for cash, with the U.S. desire for control of yet more oil reserves.
Analysts gauge that Greece is in fact the richest country in Europe due to its wealth of, yet unexploited, oil and gas deposits. Greece may be on the brink of bankruptcy but its assets have much appeal, especially as the rights to exploit them can be snapped up on the cheap due to the Greek crisis. Whichever country claims the rights has access to what is deemed the largest deposits of oil in Europe, cited in a strategic European position.
According to Prison Planet "Preliminary estimates now are that total offshore oil in Greek waters exceeds 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off western Greece and some 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea." Furthermore, Greek analyst Aristotle Vassilakis said, “surveys already done that have measured the amount of natural gas estimate it to reach some nine trillion dollars.”
Helles Frappe reported a 2011 article in Greek magazine Epikaira said "A law on privatization of public property passed by the government recently, has left open the possibility of liquidating assets to creditors of all of Greece’s mineral wealth, including its proven reserves, as well as those that may be discovered in the future and the total potential revenue from them." American interest in Greece as a major oil and gas source, as well as convenient military base, could lead to the US supporting Greece in the case of a Grexit, in order to take control of the rich resources.
John Ward's blog reports, Greece is swarming with American engineers, and both the US and Russia are determined Turkey won't get its hands on Aegean oil they lay claim to, which is disputed by Greece.
It will be interesting to see what happens; if a Grexit does lead to greater Greek-U.S. ties, and if the prediction that Greece's first oil rig will indeed be up and running by the end of 2012.
With the corrupt record of Greek politicians thus far, they stand to become rich through the cheap sale of Greece's oil and gas exploration rights. The Greek people are likely to be the losers as the politicians and oil companies bleed the Greek assets dry, for cents on the dollar.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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