Greece announced on Navtex website the expansion of the area of seismic surveys for oil and gas deposits off the island of Crete, in response to a request from the American company ExxonMobil, which was granted exploration rights, saying that it also serves a geopolitical purpose, according to the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini.

According to a report by the newspaper on Saturday, Greece expects accusations from Turkey and the Libyan government of Athena after granting rights in a disputed area, considering that islands, such as Crete, cannot have a continental shelf, and therefore an exclusive economic zone.

Analysts say that drilling in the expanded area defined by  Navtex (11,000 square kilometers compared to 6,500 square kilometers reserved on November 7) does not affect Turkish interests in the eastern Mediterranean, adding that if Libya chooses to protest, Turkey will support it by sending research ships to the region which will further escalate the tension with Greece, Ekathimerini said.