Improved bids requested from Energean, ELPE for onshore blocks

The Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Ministry’s committee appraising bids for oil exploration and exploitation licenses has requested improved offers from Energean Oil & Gas and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) for three onshore blocks located in western Greece, according to energypress sources.

The committee has apparently demanded improvements to both the technical and financial aspects of the offers submitted by both companies, and has set an imminent September 8 deadline.

The now-resigned Syriza-led government’s first energy minister, Panayiotis Lafazanis, had signed a ministerial decision extending the appraisal period for offers concerning the three blocks until October 31. His successor, Panos Skourletis, appointed about a month before the government resigned to call for early elections in search of a fresh four-year mandate, made adjustments for a swifter procedure to the tender. It is now expected to be completed by the end of September, not far off the original schedule.

Licenses are on offer for onshore blocks in Arta-Preveza, Etoloakarnania, and northwestern Peloponnese through a tender that was announced on November 5, 2014. ELPE and Energean Oil & Gas submitted their offers three months later, on February 6, the tender’s deadline.

Both ELPE and Energean Oil & Gas bid for the Arta-Preveza onshore block. ELPE also submitted an offer for the northwestern Peloponnese block, while Energean Oil & Gas placed an additional offer for the Etoloakarnania block.

These three regions rank among Greece’s most promising for hydrocarbons exploration. Extensive seismic surveys and drilling have been conducted in preceding decades. In the years following the millennium, US firm Triton had conducted drilling work in Etoloakarnania, while British company Enterprise, eventually acquired by Shell, explored the western Peloponnese block.

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