ELPE in talks with major players for joint oil exploration

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) is pressing ahead with hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation plans for its licences in the Gulf of Patras and onshore Arta-Preveza, both on the west side of Greece, the company activity including talks with major international players for possible collaboration.

The company, which has completed geophysical and geological studies for its Gulf of Patras block and also holds encouraging 3D survey results, is currently engaged in talks with numerous international players for possible collaboration during the next stage of this license.

These include major companies such as Total, ExxonMobil, among the 80 firms that were represented at the 45th Central-Eastern Europe & Caspian (CEEC) Scout Group Meeting, organized by ELPE in Athens a few weeks ago. Other participants included Shell, Noble, MOL, INA, and Gazprom.

Positive findings in current tests being conducted by ELPE will be crucial to reinvigorating the interest of foreign petroleum groups. ELPE’s geophysical study results will not be fully processed until after autumn and will be followed by drilling before the existence of exploitable deposits can be confirmed.

Companies involved in talks with ELPE will hold back for these results before they express genuine interest for collaborative ventures in the Gulf of Patras and Arta-Preveza, sources at the Greek oil company informed.

All the major oil companies have contacted ELPE over the past fortnight to express interest for collaboration at its onshore interests, managing director Grigoris Stergioulis informed yesterday at a company meeting.

If the regions already taken on by ELPE for exploration justify expectations, then the interest of foreign oil companies for exploration could widen to also include more challenging areas such as the offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete, which are being tendered.

For the time being, talks are focused on ELPE’s Gulf of Patras license, for which seismic survey work was completed in February, ccovering an area of roughly 800 square kilometers.

“The next two to three years will be very interesting. They could redefine the company. The first signs are extremely encouraging. We are waiting for more specific data after summer, when we will also be announcing international collaborations,” Stergioulis pointed out.