No oil tender revisions until current offer is completed

Any legal framework revisions concerning Greece’s hydrocarbon sector will be made once an ongoing international tender, offering twenty offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea, western Greece, and south of Crete for exploration and exploitation, has been completed, latest developments indicate.

The deadline for the offshore blocks tender, launched by the previous government prior to the January 25 snap elections that led to the leftist Syriza-led coalition’s victory, expires on July 14.

Following much confusion as to whether hydrocarbon tender regulation changes would be carried out following the elections, the newly appointed Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Ministry Panagiotis Lafazanis eventually announced, on March 30, that other than a two-month deadline extension, no other revisions would be made to the aforementioned tender.

Lafazanis decided to avoid making changes after being advised by sector officials to not intervene on the process, while also taking into account a strong level of interest maintained by a number of foreign energy companies.

In the lead-up to the elections, the Syriza party had expressed a solid preference for a revised hydrocarbon model offering the state majority control in exploration and exploitation ventures and subordinate roles for participating companies, along the lines of models applied in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, and Venezuela.

No clear picture has emerged on the current interest of energy companies, other than signs of rekindled interest about a month ago.