New request for Energean, ELPE to improve block bids

An Environment and Energy Ministry committee appraising bids for oil exploration and exploitation licenses has requested yet another new improvement on offers by Energean Oil & Gas and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) for three onshore blocks in western Greece.

The two companies have been asked to further improve both the technical and financial aspects of their offers by the procedure’s deadline, set for October 30.

Both ELPE and Energean Oil & Gas have placed bids for an onshore block in the Arta-Preveza area. ELPE also submitted an offer for a block in the northwestern Peloponnese, while Energean Oil & Gas placed an additional offer for a license in Etoloakarnania.

Ministry sources informed it would be advisable to not further extend the current deadline, now three weeks away, which, they noted, offers ample time.

The appraisal committee had recently requested improved offers from the two companies by September 8. Both ELPE and Energean Oil & Gas responded but their offers were still deemed insufficient.

The tender for the three onshore blocks was launched last November and its original deadline had been set for February 6, 2015. Both ELPE and Energean Oil & Gas submitted their initial bids on that date.

These three regions rank among Greece’s most promising for hydrocarbons exploration. Extensive seismic surveys and drilling were conducted in preceding decades. Early during the previous decade, US firm Triton had conducted drilling work in Etoloakarnania, while British company Enterprise, eventually acquired by Shell, explored the western Peloponnese area.

Italian company ENEL had expressed interest in all three areas early in 2014, prompting the Greek government at the time to initiate procedures for international tenders. However, the Italian company eventually withdrew from the picture.