Yiannis Maniatis, the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister presented in London Greece's programme for offshore hydrocarbon exploration concessions in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete. The presentation included data from geological surveys covering 225,000 square km and its interpretation by the French oil and gas consultancy BEICIP-Franlab. He unveiled the findings of seismic surveys in the area, adding that Greece aims to become a major oil and gas producer. There will be a tender for test drilling in 20 blocks, defined on the basis of 50 parameters. The Minister highlighted the broader geopolitical framework in Greece, including the recovery of the economy, society's acceptance and the political consensus on exploiting the country's oil and gas reserves. Maniatis's presentation included the legal and financial framework that will govern the exploratory drilling, such as a new law on concessions incorporating the latest trends and best practices internationally, a stable and predictable environment for investors, a favourable tax regime to make investments competitive, the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management SA company set up to monitor the sector, while stressing this would be governed by EU rules on the safety of offshore drilling activity.