Tenders stir up interest amid survey purchase complaints

Licences to be offered by the Greek State for exploration and exploitation of offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea and off Crete now appear to be drawing wider attention following an initial interest displayed by investors that prompted authorities to organize three tenders.

However, prospective investors are believed to be discontent with a term requiring them to purchase existing seismic surveys. The terms of the upcoming tenders were recently published in the local gazette.

Initial interest expressed by a consortium comprised of ExxonMobil, Total and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) for two blocks off Crete, one southwest, the other west, led authorities to announce a tender, while Energean Oil & Gas got the ball rolling for a third tender offering an Ionian Sea block.

Though new firms now entering the picture have yet to be named, authorities have noted that these are mid-scale and large-scale enterprises which have eyed the Greek market in the past.

Shell, Japex, Dana Petroleum, INA and Hunt are believed to be among the oil companies maneuvering ahead of the tenders.

The sale procedures are expected to be launched towards the end of September, when published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Investors will then have 90 days to submit their offers. Greek authorities will push for the appraisal procedure of offers to have been completed by early 2018.

Prospective investors have expressed objections against a term requiring all participants to purchase existing seismic surveys concerning their respective areas of interest. PGS has conducted surveys covering 12,347 square kilometers of offshore Greek territory.

A number of sources told energypress that investors should have the right to conduct their own seismic surveys and then purchase the PGS data as additional information only if needed.

It is estimated that the cost of purchasing seismic surveys concerning the Ionian Sea block is roughly two million euros, while the price tag for the seismic surveys linked to the two blocks off Crete is estimated at five million euros.