An oil boom is transforming the eastern Mediterranean — and changing relationships, especially with Israel

In 2007, Mathios Rigas spent $1.13 million to buy a near-dormant oil well in Greece with a license that was about to expire. The engineer-turned-banker hired a Venezuelan petroleum chemist, the only person he had met in Greece who knew about oil and gas. 

He called his company “Energean,” a play on the words energy and the Aegean Sea.

It paid off. The Prinos oilfield, Greece’s only oil-producing asset, held more reserves than thought and is now producing thousands of barrels a day. In 2016, armed with the experience, Rigas placed another bet and bought the rights to develop the Karish and Tanin natural gas fields off the coast of Israel — a country that bigger oil and natural gas exploration companies were avoiding because it could affect their business with Arab countries or Iran.

Read the entire article at The Los Angeles Times