ELPE close to US shale oil deal, company chief to visit US

Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) has reached an advanced stage in talks with US oil industry officials for a shale oil order that would represent the first ever shipment of US oil to Greece, sources have informed.

A planned trip to the US by ELPE managing director Grigoris Stergioulis in just over a week from now will coincide with a US visit by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, scheduled to meet with US president Donald Trump.

The ELPE head, expected to travel with Tsipras, is scheduled to hold meetings in Chicago on October 14 and Washington on October 17.

ELPE may have finalized a US shale oil deal prior to the trip, according to sources. The shale oil would be refined into gasoline and diesel at the ELPE facilities and sold in the Greek market.

The Greek refinery has already joined forces with US oil giant ExxonMobil and France’s Total for an international tender offering exploration and exploitation licenses for offshore blocks west and southwest of Crete. This procedure is still in progress.

Shale oil has brought drastic changes to the global oil industry in recent years. The US, possessing enormous shale oil deposits, especially in Texas, as well as other state such as Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska, lifted an oil export ban in 2015 and has developed into one of the world’s main energy exporters.

This development has greatly contributed to the drop in oil prices, benefitting countries that import energy, both oil and natural gas.

US shale oil deposits cover a large part of the country’s domestic needs, making the country a net exporter.