ATHENS, June 23 (Reuters) – Greece approved applications submitted by a consortium of Total, ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum for oil and gas exploration and drilling off the island of Crete, its energy ministry said on Friday.

The ministry also approved an application submitted by Greece’s sole oil producer Energean Oil for offshore drilling in western Greece, the ministry said.

Greece’s oil and gas resources management company will launch a tender for licences to drill in the respective blocs by the end of next month, aiming to conclude the procedure by the end of the year. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou)

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