ELPE, ExxonMobil, Total eyeing blocks in Ionian, south of Crete

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), ExxonMobil and Total officials are currently processing data in order to identify locations of interest with the objective of submitting an exploration and exploitation offer to the Greek State and EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, by August, as one consortium.

This expression of interest by the prospective consortium will prompt local authorities to launch a related tender.

According to sources, the three companies are focusing their interest in the Ionian Sea’s north, as well as south of Crete, all the way to the small island of Gavdos, Greece’s southernmost point.

As these locations are high-risk, high-cost deep-sea areas, ELPE will look to establish a consortium offering its partners fair shares for their demanding roles. ExxonMobil and Total are expected to take on shares of 40 percent each with ELPE holding 20 percent in the venture. Drilling ventures at waters of such depths are estimated to cost approximately 100 million dollars each.

ExxonMobil’s extensive experience in deep-sea exploration and financial strength were key factors in the interest shown by ELPE for the establishment of a partnership as the areas of interest are challenging, both technically and financially.

ExxonMobil has already purchased a package of seismic data produced following survey work conducted by Norwegian firm PGS three years ago.

Energean Oil & Gas also expressed an interest, yesterday, in the new round of offshore licenses expected to be offered by the Greek State. The company plans to capitalize on its expertise being gained at Israeli offshore blocks.

At this stage, it appears that Energean Oil & Gas and Repsol, currently conducting joint onshore exploration work in west Greece, at blocks in the Ioannina and Etoloakarnania areas, will attempt to broaden their venture to the sea extensions of these blocks.