Oil tender announcement expected within ten days

An imminent international tender for exploration and exploitation rights of twenty offshore plots in western Greece and south of Crete has been given a protocol for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, meaning the tender will be announced within the next ten days.

Interested parties will have six months, from the date of publication, to make assessments and submit their bids.

In comments made yesterday, Energy & Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis reiterated his optimistic views on the tender’s prospects, noting that serious investor interest was accumulating. Both Maniatis and other ministry officials have high expectations for investor interest in the Ionian Sea, western Greece, an area already believed to be attracting attention, as well as the region south of Crete, which has been subjected to some negative publicity of late, over an apparent lack of detail in its available seismic surveys. Investors will need to purchase these surveys, conducted by PGS, before bidding. At least two companies are reported to have already acquired them.

A highly ranked ministry official rejected these concerns, distinguishing between seismic details and actual potential. “Oil companies look at what they want to see,” the official noted, adding that investment interest in the Cretan region was already clearly evident.

An official at the services company Spectrum, Neil Hodgson, who specializes in hydrocarbon studies for the Mediterranean and Middle East areas, lent support to the wider area’s prospects. Hodgson, who is participating in a Balkans and Adriatic Oil Summit in Athens, October 1 to 3, noted that exploration technology had advanced, making available new techniques that could locate and extract hydrocarbons from areas and depths previously beyond reach. Spectrum had competed with PGS for the seismic survey project in Greece.