After some of the top seismic survey companies in the world vied for the job of searching for hydrocarbons in the Ionian Sea and off southern Crete, major oil companies including Exxon, Total and Statoil are now expressing an interest to the Greek government in the utilization of reserves under the country's seas. Daily Kathimerini reports that requests for information by medium-sized and large oil companies are constantly reaching the government, while Exxon, Total, Statoil, Noble, Delek and seven other companies have already lodged official expressions of interest in Greek hydrocarbons with the competent government officials. The existing data, collected over the last couple of years, constitute more than just good omens for the results of the search process, and after last week's announcement of the selection of Norwegian surveying company Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), the utilization of the reserves is becoming more realistic. The areas for concession add up to 225 square kilometers, from the northern Ionian to the south of Crete, and are considered among the less surveyed locations internationally while also being very promising, given the geological data collected by the Geological and Mining Studies Institute of Greece in the past. The data point to particularly interesting reserves to the south of Corfu and off southern Crete. The indications for Crete have been bolstered since the positive results of surveys and drilling in the exclusive economic zones of Israel and Cyprus as these areas belong to the same geological basin. Although the industry had known of these reserves for years, it is only now that their use is becoming profitable, thanks to the rise in oil prices, while technology has made the extraction of oil cheaper and easier too.