Potential buyers participating in a sale offering a controlling 50.1 percent stake in ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) will be given the option of being exempted from hydrocarbon exploration-related expenses concerning ELPE Upstream, a separate division holding ELPE’s hydrocarbon exploration and concession rights.
A 51 percent stake of ELPE Upstream will remain under the control of the state. Potential buyers will have the right to refuse to partake in ELPE Upstream’s investment activities, given the minority stake they will hold in this venture.
This cost exemption option appears to have satisfied potential buyers of ELPE’s 50.1 percent, preparing to submit binding bids, possibly within the first ten days of March. A deadline has yet to be set.
Head representatives, including Sonatrach boss Abdelmoumene Ould Kaddou, have spent time in Athens over the past couple of weeks for meetings with Greek state privatization fund TAIPED officials. No objections appear to have been raised.
Sonatrach recently entered the ELPE sale, joining Vitol as a partner. American firm Carlyle, the other new entry, has joined forces with Glencore for this sale.
All of ELPE’s current exploration and production licenses have been transferred to ELPE Upstream.