Hydrocarbon licensing changes avoided ahead of Crete tender

The government has softened its stance on an intention to implement hydrocarbon sector revisions that could offer investors production sharing agreements rather than leasing agreements for new tenders.

Governmemt officials fear that such changes to the licensing system would undermine the prospects of future tenders, including an imminent effort aiming to offer investors blocks off Crete. This upcoing effort has drawn the attention of international oil industry giants such as ExxonMobil and Total.

KYSOIP, the Government Council for Economic Policy, which yesterday endorsed a hydrocarbon sector modernization plan forwarded by energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, decided to keep the current licensing model unchanged – at least for the time being.

The minister’s modernization plan will aim to reduce the amount of time needed by authorities to issue exploration and exploitation licenses.

Though any imminent hydrocarbon leasing model changes should not be expected following yesterday’s KYSOIP decision, future revisions, which would make the Greek State a partner in oil exploration and exploitation ventures, along the lines of models applied in African, Latin American and Central Asian countries, cannot be ruled out.