Deadline nearing for improved west Greece exploration offers

Bidders for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation licenses at three onshore blocks in western Greece have until October 30 to improve technical and financial aspects of their offers.

Officials at the Environment and Energy Ministry believe deals can be sealed by the end of the year.

Both ELPE and Energean Oil & Gas have placed bids for an onshore block in the Arta-Preveza area. ELPE also submitted an offer for a block in the northwestern Peloponnese, while Energean Oil & Gas placed an additional offer for a license in Etoloakarnania.

Energean Oil & Gas is already active in the Prinos area, northern Greece.

The resignation, just days ago, of the energy ministry’s Secretary General Apostolos Alexopoulos, who headed the appraisals committee, comes as a key development.

Whether the committee’s final appraisals will prompt reactions at a political level once they are handed over to the energy ministry will be crucial to the procedure’s further progress and completion.

A long list of criteria are being applied in the evaluation process of prospective operators. Bidders have been requested to present details on current exploration activity, as well as projects undertaken over the past five years. The proven and probable reserves accumulated by bidders over the past five years, and the size of blocks, have also been requested. Previous experience at environmentally challenging locations is another aspect to be considered by the appraisals committee. The financial standings of bidders are also being scrutinized.