ELPE also eyeing Ionian Sea block with major global partner

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), believed to already be interested in offshore Cretan blocks on offer, is expected to join forces with a major international partner to submit a bid for an Ionian Sea block made available through a tender expiring today, energypress sources have informed.

Spain’s Repsol has also expressed an interest for the Ionian Sea area.

Besides the block in the Ionian Sea, two offshore Cretan blocks, southwest and west of the island, are also being offered through the tender, staged by is EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company.

The Cretan offshore blocks are expected to attract offers from the oil majors Exxon Mobil and Total, joined by Greece’s ELPE, as well as Italy’s Eni as a rival bidder.

An interest expressed in the offshore Cretean blocks by Exxon Mobil, Total and ELPE last May prompted EDEY to organize tenders for this region.

Energean Oil & Gas, operating the offshore Prinos field in northern Greece, the only field currently producing in Greece, sparked the Ionian Sea tender.

Eni has developed a wide presence in the southeast Mediterranean. It has acquired exploration and exploitation rights for six of eight fields offered by Cyprus, including Block 3, where a recent drilling attempt was interrupted by Turkish naval forces. For its Cypriot interests, Eni has established partnerships with Korean firm Kogas and France’s Total.

Eni has acquired seismic survey data for the Cretan blocks, according to the Italian company. The acquisition of these surveys is a prerequisite for participation in the tenders. Many firms have bought seismic survey data concerning the Ionia Sea and Cretan blocks.

Officials representing five firms, Exxon Mobil, Total, ELPE, Repsol and Energean Oil & Gas, attended an EDEY meeting last Thursday on offshore exploitation safety matters.

Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek, which had both previously visited the EDEY virtual data room, were not represented at the EDEY meeting last week. It remains to be seen if these absences mean they will not be submitting offers today.