Whilst Greece stares into the abyss of endless recession and austerity, a study presented to Antonis Samaras in June shows the nation has potential natural gas reserves worth $600 billion.
Reuters reported they have seen a copy of the study conducted by Antonis Foscolos, Elias Konofagos and Nikos Lygeros, which estimates gas reserves offshore from Crete could generate almost $600 billion over 25 years.
In 2010 Greece's Energy Ministry commissioned a group of experts to research potential gas and oil reserves in Greek waters.
Antonis Foscolos of the Technical University of Crete and the Canadian Geological Survey said: "subsea methane emissions and the presence of gas hydrate mounds on the seabed indicate the presence of large reservoirs."
Greece has commissioned a seismic survey to measure the level of hydrocarbon deposits. In January 2012 Digital Journal reported Greece launched a licensing round for bids to explore development of an offshore oil and gas sector, with potential investors given until July to tender their bids.
According to Prison Planet earlier surveys estimated that the value of natural gas resources available for Greece to exploit could exceed $9 trillion. Those surveys did not take into account the Cretan Sea or the Southern Aegean.
John Ward, author of the Slog, has long maintained that the EU and U.S. have been aware of the potential of oil and gas reserves in Greek waters, noting that both sides are fully cognizant of the geopolitical importance of Greece.
In August Digital Journal reported "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."
With the study presenting new evidence that Greece may indeed prove to be the richest country in Europe it offers new hope that Greece may be able to exploit her natural resources to fiscal advantage.