The country’s ambitious hydrocarbon exploration and production plan appears set to be impacted by further delays as a result of the government’s call for snap elections, now expected to take place on July 7.
License agreements signed recently for offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea and west of the Peloponnese, will, as a result, not be pushed through for ratification in parliament until after the elections.
An Ionian Sea license has been acquired by a consortium comprising Repsol and Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), while ELPE has also taken on Block 10, further south, west of the Peloponnese.
Licenses offered for blocks west and southwest of Crete to a consortium made up of Total, ExxonMobil and ELPE are also set to face delays as a result of the country’s political developments. The triple-member team will need to hold on for several more months before it can begin work at these promising spots. The consortium’s licences, still in the hands of a supervisory committee, have also yet to be ratified in parliament. No action on these is expected prior to the early general elections.
Procedures concerning the formation of a new government and the ensuing summer break will delay the ratification of these agreements until September, experts have estimated.
Investors looking forward to exploration work in the Ionian Sea and off Crete have become well acquainted with the slow-moving ways of Greece and are prepared to remain patient until this latest obstacle is cleared, pundits noted.
The country’s recent administrations have all moved slowly on hydrocarbon licensing matters.