New tender in the making for Ionian Sea, Cretan blocks

The energy ministry and EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, are working on legal framework revisions in a bid to make more attractive for investors a new international tender being worked on to offer offshore exploration and exploitation licenses in the Ionian Sea, western Greece, and south of Crete.

Local authorities believe that the subdued interest expressed by investors for a previous tender staged in 2014 – a period when the international community had turned its attention to the wider southeast European region – offering licenses for twenty offshore blocks in both regions, was not only the result of lower oil prices and the Greek economic crisis but also the nature of the legal framework that made the prospect of investing here less appealing.

The energy ministry is closely collaborating with its Cypriot counterpart as well as Cyprus’s hydrocarbon company to identify the required legal framework changes.

Greece’s energy minister Giorgos Stathakis told an Athens Energy Forum, staged yesterday, that his team is currently working closely with his Cypriot couterpart Giorgos Lakkotrypis and associates to gain from the neighbor’s hydrocarbon sector experience.

Asked by energypress whether a new hydrocarbon tender could be expected during his tenure, the Greek energy minister confirmed such a prospect, noting it is being worked on.

The investor turnout for the previous tender, staged following seismic survey work conducted by Norway’s PGS, was limited to Total and ELPE (Hellenic Petroluem), which joined forces for Block 2, and ELPE, alone, for Blocks 1 and 10.

Stathakis told yesterday’s conference that a contract will soon be signed for the Block 2 license.