Licenses for west Greece blocks to be signed on May 25

The two winning bidders for three onshore blocks in Greece’s wider western region have been invited to the energy ministry to sign finalized licenses on May 25, sources have informed.

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) was declared the preferred bidder for two of these blocks, in northwest Peloponnese and Arta-Preveza, while Energean Oil & Gas won the rights for a third block in the Etoloakarnania area.

An international tender including these blocks was launched back in the spring of 2014 following interest expressed by Italian firm Enel, which eventually withdrew. The procedure ended in February, 2016, when the aforementioned two companies were declared the winning bidders for the three blocks.

Energean recently signed an agreement with Spain’s Repsol to farm out a 60% interest in its Etoloakarnania block as well as a license held for a block in Ioannina.

All three blocks – northwest Peloponnese, Arta-Preveza and Etoloakarnania – are believed to possess unexploited potential.

DEP, the Public Petroleum Company, an ELPE precursor, which had been awarded a license for the northwest Peloponnese area in 1978, conducted over 20 drilling efforts that were not followed through. The area was subsequently returned to the Greek State in 2007.

In 1981, DEP was awarded exploration and exploitation rights for Ioannina, Arta and Thesprotia, all located in the Epirus area, northwest Greece, and conducted geophysical research and eight drilling projects.

In the late 90s, a consortium headed by Triton, the now-defunct US oil and gas exploration and production company, also involving ELPE as a partner, conducted two fruitless drills in the Etoloakarnania area before the license was returned to the Greek State.