Ministry OKs environmental study for blocks south of Crete

Energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has approved a strategic environmental impact study concerning an offshore area south of Crete in preparation for tenders to offer exploration and production licenses for two blocks covering most of the island’s width.

Giannis Basias, the former head official at EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, went ahead with the strategic environmental impact study last August to clear the way for government authorities to stage tenders for licenses and also spare  winning bidders of needing to wait for pending issues to be resolved before they can begin their exploration efforts.

In addition, it is believed EDEY took swift action for the environmental impact study covering the offshore area south of Crete in response to interest expressed by oil majors.

The two offshore blocks south of Crete measure a total of 33,933 square kilometers and cover all four prefectures spread across the island.

These vacant blocks are situated next to two blocks southwest and west of Crete that have already been licensed out to a three-member consortium headed by Total with ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum as partners.

The eastern flank of these two blocks is intruded by a corridor defined in a recent Turkish-Libyan maritime deal.

The Greek energy ministry’s approval of the strategic environmental impact study for south of Crete is not linked to Turkey’s heightened provocations in the Aegean Sea, ministry officials told energypress.

The environmental study’s approval means this offshore area is now set for tenders and also sends out a signal of readiness to the international upstream industry, the ministry officials explained.

Just days ago, the newly appointed EDEY administration and the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou met with officials of Total, operator of the consortium holding the two licenses southwest and west of Crete. Seismic surveys for these blocks will be completed by March next year, the Total officials appear to have promised.

New leadership at hydrocarbon management company EDEY

The Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company (EDEY), an independent company owned by the Hellenic Republic that oversees and manages the nation’s oil & gas exploration & production, investor relations and a growing portfolio of international energy infrastructure projects, has announced the appointment of a new chairman of the board of directors and a new chief executive. 

The appointments by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, follow the nomination by Greece’s energy minister Costis Hatzidakis and endorsement by the Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency of the Hellenic Parliament.

In a statement, the Minister of Environment and Energy, Costis Hatzidakis, noted that the appointments “mark a new chapter for the company, which now has an expanded role following the absorption of a number of International trans-boundary gas pipeline projects, such as the Greek-Bulgarian (IGB) pipeline, IGI Poseidon and East Med – projects supported by inter-governmental agreements between several countries in the Mediterranean region that will strengthen European security of supply as well as Greece’s role as a protagonist nexus in some of the region’s most important strategic developments.” 

The newly appointed chairman, Rikard Scoufias, who joins the company in a non-executive capacity from a distinguished energy and extractives career in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, commented: “This is an important moment in the history of EDEY. Strong corporate governance, especially environmental and social governance (ESG), is in unprecedented focus, nowhere more so than the energy and extractive sectors. It is a privilege to be asked to lead such an eminent board of directors, with distinguished careers from Greece, Norway, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Denmark and the United Kingdom, and we all look forward to work closely with the executive team and to guide the company into this new chapter of growth and continued success.”  

Aristofanis Stefatos, EDEY’s newly appointed CEO, who returns to Greece following a successful executive career in Norway’s oil and gas industry, where he served as COO, CEO and in non-executive roles noted: “Τhe opportunities that hydrocarbon exploration and production offer Greece are significant. By securing these opportunities today, we position the country for the widest possible strategic choices for the future – including the delivery of Greece’s committed plans for alternative energies and long-term decarbonization. We will achieve this ensuring that EDEY is widely recognized as an efficient, transparent and dedicated partner to investors and all stakeholders, whilst at the same time holding those partners to the highest international environmental and social standards.” 

Hydrocarbons can push RES sector to next stage, new EDEY official says

The hydrocarbons industry will continue to play an important role in the energy mix until 2050, despite a shift in policies turning to renewable energy, and could also serve as a lever of support propelling the RES sector to its next stage, according to Aristofanis Stefatos, the newly appointed chief executive of EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company.

Stefatos and Rikard Skoufias, concurrently named new president of EDEY, offered their views on the upstream sector during questioning by Greek Parliament’s permanent committee on institutions and transparency.

The two men, both proposed by energy minister Costis Hatzidakis for the top EDEY jobs, officially assumed their roles following approval by the committee.

During questioning, committee members asked about the future of the hydrocarbons sector and licenses in Greece given the major decline in crude oil prices, as well as climate change policies being adopted.

Stefatos described the dip in crude oil prices as a temporary condition, noting the sector has experienced such situations in the past before rebounding. “It is only a matter of time before the same thing happens again,” he noted.

The two officials were also asked to comment on environmental protection issues, while Stefatos, the new chief executive, was asked to clarify on his position as shareholder of a Norwegian upstream company.

An offshore corridor running down from Albania into Greece’s EEZ has potential, while signs of a deposit in the area are encouraging, Stefatos told the committee. However, further 3D seismic surveys must soon be conducted in the area, he stressed.

DEPA Infrastructure board soon, bidders shortlist in June

Corporate revisions at gas utility DEPA, shaped by legislation ratified in December, have just about been completed ahead of the enterprise’s privatization plan.

All that remains, according to sources, is an announcement of the board members at DEPA Infrastructure, one of the new corporate entities established as part of the utility’s transformation.

This announcement is expected to be made within the next one or two weeks. DEPA Infrastructure will be established as an entirely new company with its own tax file number.

DEPA Trade, another new entity emerging from the wider corporate revision, will succeed the existing DEPA utility.

The utility’s other division, DEPA International Projects will, for the time being, remain a subsidiary of DEPA Trade before it is broken away 60 days prior to the submission of bids for its parent company.

Then, as the final step of its process, DEPA International Projects will be merged with EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, the government has announced.

Nine bidding teams that have expressed official interest for DEPA Infrastructure are currently providing data to the privatization fund TAIPED, expected to shortlist candidates around June, sources estimate.

Meanwhile, DEPA is preparing its video data room as well as financial and technical reports that will be examined and evaluated by investors before they shape their bids. DEPA is expected to complete these reports in May.

DEPA International Projects, EDEY, the hydrocarbon company, to merge

An amendment permitting a prospective merger between DEPA International Projects – a new entity resulting from a split at gas utility DEPA – and EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, is now being prepared at the energy ministry, energypress sources have informed.

A number of DEPA-related projects have been added to the DEPA International Projects portfolio, including the Greek-Italian IGI interconnection, EastMed and the Greek-Bulgarian IGB pipeline interconnection.

In addition, any future DEPA-related projects – directly or indirectly – concerning development, construction or management of interconnection infrastructure linking Greece with neighboring countries will also be added to the DEPA International Projects portfolio.

EDEY, the hydrocarbon project licensing authority in Greece, has assets of approximately 12.5 million euros. The company reported a post-tax profit of 4.3 million euros in 2019.

EDEY’s range of activities will be broadened as a result of the company’s merger with DEPA International Projects.

Special categorization for the new company that would exempt personnel remuneration packages and hiring policies from strict state monitoring is likely, sources noted.

The merger plan’s legal details could be attached to an energy ministry draft bill on environmental matters that is expected to be submitted to parliament following the Greek Easter break.


ELPE-Edison granted extra 18 months for troubled Patras license

Hellenic Petroleum ELPE, the local partner of Gulf of Patras license in western Greece, has been granted an 18-month extension to complete second-phase work at the license. Project delays have been attributed to inadequate port infrastructure and bureaucracy.

ELPE, joined by Edison as a consortium partner for this hydrocarbon project, requested more time to complete the second phase, including exploratory drilling.

The consortium was expected to conduct its first drilling operation at the Gulf of Patras license this year but has been slowed down by insufficient port facilities at the regional Patras and Astakos ports, as well as environmental licensing procedures, according to sources.

ELPE and Edison require adequate port facilities, including storage, to ship in the project’s drilling equipment.

The Gulf of Patras drilling operation is seen as a project that could prompt further hydrocarbon investments, especially if this field’s probable oil deposit, estimated at 140 million barrels, is confirmed.

Bureaucracy and a lack of strategic planning for development of the country’s upstream sector has kept investors at a distance, oil company officials and industry experts have repeatedly noted over a number of years

The regional infrastructure’s inability to serve this venture’s needs has frustrated officials. The Gulf of Patras tender was launched back in 2012.

A previous extension had given the ELPE-Edison consortium until April 2, 2018 to complete the project’s second phase. This deadline has now been extended to October, 2, 2021.


Repsol-Energean given extra year for Ioannina license preliminary stage

A consortium comprising Repsol and Energean Oil & Gas has been granted a one-year extension by EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, to complete preliminary exploration work at an onshore license in the wider region of Ioannina, northwestern Greece.

Repsol, controlling a 60 percent stake in the consortium, and Energean, holding 40 percent stake, requested an additional year until October 2, 2020, to complete preliminary exploration work at the license.

This is the second deadline extension granted to Repsol-Energean for the license’s preliminary phase. A first extension, granted in 2017, expires next month. The consortium is currently processing new seismic data.

The EDEY extension decision also requires the consortium to complete a second exploration phase, involving deep drilling, by October 2, 2022, should the partners decide to pursue the license further.

The license location’s geological features, featuring rocky terrain, are considered challenging. Also, the two companies have faced resistance, at times extreme, from small groups representing local communities while conducting their seismic research and related activities. The support of local landowners exceeds 90 percent, which has enabled the completion of research work in recent weeks.

Investors will ‘abandon Crete blocks if discoveries not significant’

Two offshore blocks west and southwest of Crete, licensed out just days ago to a three-member consortium comprised of Total (40%), ExxonMobil (40%) and Hellenic Petroleum-ELPE (20%), promise far greater production potential than blocks further north in the Ionian Sea, but investors will leave if these Cretan blocks do not offer significant output, a top-ranked official has noted.

Investors will abandon their efforts if a production target of at least 500 million barrels is not reached as the investment costs are considerable, Yiannis Basias, the head official at EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, told state-run radio Proto Programma.

He denounced environmental concerns being expressed, describing these as inexplicable, “unless the intention is to stop the exploration activity altogether.”

Hydrocarbon companies spend vast amounts of money to ensure the avoidance of problems as, besides affecting the environment, local economy and health of individuals, any accident would also instantly blacklist companies and trouble their futures, the EDEY chief highlighted.

Sizable discoveries promise to greatly change Greece’s image and standing in the southeast Mediterranean region, Basias remarked, adding that the country’s economy would gain some balance for a less burdensome future.

At present, economic gains generated by tourism are immediately offset by costs concerning  natural gas and crude costs, the EDEY chief said.

EDEY aims to offer complete Crete portfolio with new areas to next gov’t

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, is striving to have completed all preliminary work for new licenses off Crete so that Greece’s next government can be handed a complete portfolio ready for licensing procedures when it begins its tenure following the snap elections on July 7.

The country’s next administration will need to push ahead with new hydrocarbon projects.

EDEY is currently working on environmental studies concerning new areas south of Crete, which the company intends to offer to investors for exploration and production.

Their features differ to those of two offshore licenses already secured by a three-member consortium comprised of ExxonMobil, Total and Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), west and southwest of Crete.

The new areas south of Crete had been swept aside in previous procedures but new scientific data has revitalized the interest of investors.

A signing ceremony for one of the two Cretan hydrocarbon exploration and production licenses, west of Crete, will be staged this Thursday, the ExxonMobil- Total-ELPE consortium has been informed.

The second license, southwest of Crete, may also be added to Thursday’s signing ceremony. However, its finalized version still needs to be formally presented, meaning investors will most probably need to wait until after Greece’s snap elections for this license to be signed.

EDEY paving the way for hydrocarbon surveys in north

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, is preparing the ground for exploration work in the country’s north, in the Grevena area, as well as the wider west Macedonia region, through processing of seismic surveys and dialogue with local communities.

EDEY’s head official Yiannis Basias offered an indication of the hydrocarbon management company’s next steps at a recent signing ceremony for offshore licenses in the Ionian Sea and Block 10, off western Peloponnese.

He stressed that onshore areas also need to be explored, indicating Grevena would be one of these. The geological features of the Grevena region represent a continuation of Albanian territory being explored by multinational Shell.

Besides the potential of discovering hydrocarbon reserves, EDEY’s interest in Grevena and the west Macedonia region is also linked to a plan to replace lignite mining activities of the past, gradually winding down as a result of the EU’s decarbonization policies. Lignite deposits contain methane, which could be utilized in the domestic market and encourage entrepreneurial activities for continued regional economic growth and employment.

An older round of offshore licenses offered through a series of tenders staged by EDEY, beginning in 2012 with the Gulf of Patras license, will be completed with competitions for two blocks west and southwest of Crete, launched in 2017.


EDEY to drum up Greek oil, gas hopes at Italy, Romania events

Spurred by recent significant gas field discoveries at Cypriot and Egyptian offshore blocks and the favorable prospects these have generated for the wider region, top officials at EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, will be looking to attract major foreign investors to new Greek blocks at two industry events in Italy and Romania.

EDEY chairman Yiannis Basias, who is in Ravenna, Italy today to attend the Offshore Mediterranean Conference & Exhibition, a leading industry event, will be exploring the potential interest of oil majors, including Italy’s ENI, for new offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea and off Crete to soon be licensed out.

EDEY chief’s deputy Spyros Bellas will follow up this effort in Bucharest at the Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum, scheduled to take place April 4 and 5.

Tristan Aspray, ExxonMobil’s Vice President of Exploration for Europe, Russia, and the Caspian, hailed the wider region’s prospects at the recent Delphi Economic Forum in Greece. ExxonMobil is currently involved in exploration work being carried out in Romania.

Speaking earlier this month at London’s Global APPEX (Prospect & Property Expo), an event organized by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Bellas, EDEY’s deputy, presented a road map of Greece’s hydrocarbon plans for 2019 to officials of foreign companies as well as latest and more detailed geological data on the Ionian Sea and Cretan regions. This data was processed by Norway’s PGS.

The strategy adopted at EDEY is to plan tenders for offshore blocks based on the interest expressed by foreign investors at this series of meetings.

Besides ENI and ExxonMobil, EDEY is seeking to convince Repsol, Shell and other US majors of Greece’s hydrocarbon prospects.



Ministry committee receives Crete hydrocarbons impact study

An environmental impact study concerning offshore hydrocarbon exploration activity planned for south and southwest of Crete has been forwarded to a special energy ministry committee by EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, following a related public consultation procedure.

This special committee is now in the process of assessing the study before delivering its findings to energy minister Giorgos Stathakis for authorization. Once signed by the minister, the environmental study, along with licensing agreements drafted for offshore plots in the aforementioned regions, will be sent to a supervisory committee for a final legality check before heading to parliament as a draft bill for ratification.

Speaking at the Athens Energy Forum yesterday, Stathakis, the energy minister, estimated that licenses offered for Crete, as well as the Ionian Sea, would be submitted to parliament in approximately two months.

A consortium comprising Total, ExxonMobil and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) has been awarded licenses around Crete, while Repsol and ELPE have secured a license for an Ionian Sea block.

Both investment teams are hoping for a swift completion of bureaucratic procedures to commence their exploratory work as soon as possible.

Crete gas discovery will prompt ‘need for LNG facility on island’

The potential discovery of natural gas deposits west and southwest of Crete will prompt the need for infrastructure development on the island, including an LNG facility, Yiannis Basias, chairman of EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, has told local newspaper Haniotika Nea in arguably his most forthright comments to date on the island’s energy prospects and subsequent actions.

Besides an LNG facility, the discovery of natural gas deposits in the region would also require pipeline development for natural gas transmission to platforms or the shore and subsequent transportation, Basias told the Cretan newspaper.

The official noted he is confident drilling expeditions planned for the region will produce favorable results. “Natural gas will be discovered west and southwest of Crete as the geological characteristics here converge with those of Egypt, Cyprus and Israel,” he pointed out.

Repsol, ELPE nearing finalized deal for new Ionian Sea block

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, and a consortium comprising Spain’s Repsol and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) have completed negotiations for exploration and production rights at a new Ionian Sea block on offer.

The two sides have delivered a draft agreement to the energy ministry. It will also be forwarded to a supervisory committee within the next few days for approval before being signed by all sides involved and submitted to parliament for ratification. The agreement could be finalized by the end of the month, sources informed.

The new Ionian Sea block, measuring 6,612 square kilometers, is the latest block to be offered to investors by EDEY following blocks southwest and west of Crete that were made available in the summer of 2017 through international tenders.

As has been previously reported, Energean Oil & Gas’s early interest in this new Ionian Sea block prompted the latest procedure. Energean, operating Prinos oil fields in Greece’s north as well as Israel’s Karish and Tanin gas fields, ended up not submitting an offer for this Ionian Sea block. Instead, Repsol and ELPE emerged with a joint bid.

Repsol, which has developed into an exploratory force in western Greece and the Ionian Sea, is pressuring for a swift bureaucratic procedure in order to commence seismic survey work at the new block.

Repsol also jointly holds onshore licenses, with Energean as its partner, in northwestern Greece’s Ioannina and Etoloakarnania regions.

EDEY presenting five new fields in search for more investors

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, is seeking to draw an increased level of attention from petroleum firms for natural gas and oil exploration through five new offshore blocks, located in the Ionian Sea, off Crete and south of the Peloponnese.

The five blocks, ranging from 8,000 to 22,000 square kilometres in size, were presented yesterday by EDEY chairman Yiannis Basias at a workshop organized by IENE, the Institute of Energy for Southeast Europe.

EDEY has reprocessed related seismic survey data concerning these five blocks and plans to present findings at international conferences and meetings with the objective of generating the interest of oil majors.

The Greek hydrocarbon company’s latest initiative comes at a time of elevated activity among southeast Mediterranean, Black Sea and Adriatic countries, all staging tenders for blocks or conducting surveys and drills.

Global oil industry players have turned their attention to the wider region. Total, ExxonMobil, Repsol and Edison have already established a presence on Greek territory. EDEY is hoping to add to the list.

Reinforced EDEY team begins work on hydrocarbon surveys

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, is now establishing a reinforced scientific team to be tasked with delivering findings, in seven months, of surveys conducted at offshore areas in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete as well as onshore location in the country’s north.

The effort will entail reexamining older data produced by previous surveys. In addition, the reinforced team will also conduct preliminary methane hydrate studies for methane molecules, which could represent a future fuel, according to the scientific community.

One the new team’s research has been completed, EDEY will be in a position to present its results at international conferences and work groups in an effort to attract offshore and onshore exploration and production investments.


EDEY set to deliver opinion on Crete, Ionian hydrocarbon contracts

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, plans to forward, to the energy ministry, a study evaluating details of contracts for three hydrocarbon licenses in the Ionian Sea and off Crete between late April to early May, energypress sources have informed.

Early in March, two consortiums submitted bids for three blocks to international tenders. Total-ExxonMobil-ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) submitted offers for two blocks west and southwest of Crete. Repsol-ELPE made an offer for the Ionian Sea block.

The EDEY study is focused on technical, legal and financial aspects of the contracts prepared. It is a mandatory step before the participants may be declared prefered bidders.

Once the green light is given, the Greek State will be able to commence licensing negotiations with the consortiums. The aim is to finalize procedures within the next few months, which will clear the way for investments and exploration work.

Both the Greek government and local hydrocarbon sector are placing great emphasis on this specific effort as the interest expressed by ExonMobil, Total and Repsol has raised hopes of potential hydrocarbon discoveries.

Oil majors set for Crete block offers, milder Ionian interest

With just days remaining before deadlines for tenders offering exploration and exploitation rights at a total of three offshore blocks off Crete and in the Ionian Sea, five petroleum firms, including three international oil majors, took part in an exploration security-related meeting held by EDEY (Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company) yesterday, which suggests they will be submitting offers.

Exxon Mobil, Total and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), whose interest in the Greek market prompted EDEY to offer two offshore blocks off Crete, Repsol, following developments for Ionian Sea investments, and Energean Oil & Gas, whose interest in the Ionian Sea area led to the other EDEY tender, all participated in the hydrocarbon company’s meeting, ahead of the deadines for the three tenders, expiring this coming Monday.

The interest expressed by investors for the two Cretan offshore blocks appears to be greater.

Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek, which have visited a related virtual room set up for the tenders by EDEY for information, were not represented by any officials at yesterday’s meeting. It remains to be seen whether these absences mean that the two firms will not submit offers on Monday.

At this stage it appears that a three-member consortium made up of Exxon Mobil, Total and ELPE, as well as Italy’s Eni, already active in Cyrpus, will submit offers for the Cretan blocks. A third offer from Noble and Delek would come as a surprise.

Eni recently had to deal with Turkish intervention in Cypriot waters, which has delayed the firm’s drilling plans for that area.

As for the one Ionian Sea block being offered, Spain’s Repsol has displayed a consistent interest, despite negative reactions by local authorities and citizens against nearby exploration work, with Energean, in the Ioannina area, northwestern Greece.

In an Oil & Gas Journal article published last month, two EDEY officials informed that areas west and southwest of Crete have shown serious signs of deposits.

The northwest part of the Ionian Sea, the location of the third block being offered, has also shown hydrocarbon potential as it shares similar geological characteristics with the southeast Adriatic Sea, already producing.





Data room for Ionian Sea, Crete offshore blocks now ready

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, has prepared a virtual data room set up to offer prospective bidders information on Cretan and Ionian Sea offshore blocks that will soon be offered through international tenders.

Prospective bidders will be permitted access to the data room, containing information on matters such as seismic, drilling and legal issues, as soon as the tender is published in the EU’s official journal, the OJ. Publication is expected soon.

Bidders, who will be charged a 1,000-euro data room entrance fee, will use the information provided to prepare bids for two international tenders offering licenses west and southwest of Crete as well as the Ionian Sea.

Besides a data room for Athens, equivalent rooms have been set up in London, Oslo, Kuala Lumpur and Houston.

Investors will have 90 days to submit their bids once the tenders are officially announced in the OJ. The appraisal period of offers is scheduled to last two months.

Licenses are then expected to be issued within a three-month period. Once approved by a special committee and Parliament, these licenses will offer investors 8-year terms for exploration and 25 years for production.

A consortium comprised of Total, ExxonMobil and ELPE has already declared an interest for blocks west and southwest of Crete. Energean Oil & Gas is interested in the Ionian Sea offerings.



EDEY head sees hydrocarbon results within 3 years

The country’s hydrocarbon exploration endeavors will produce surprise results within the next three years, Yiannis Basias, the recently appointed chairman of EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, has forecast in an interview for local business news channel SBC’s Energy Week show.

The EDEY chief, who reminded that Prinos in northern Greece is the only hydrocarbon source producing at present, noted that exploration work covering a large part of western Greece may have commenced by the end of the year as nine licenses have either already been approved or are about to be approved.

“We could have some good results in the next three years,” Basias remarked, adding that the outcome of drilling ventures will determine whether foreign and Greek firms will decide to further pursue their efforts.

The EDEY chief put the probability of success at between 20 and 25 percent. “Therefore, we need to conduct five drilling operations, which is why the endeavor carries financial risk, as each drilling effort could cost between 50 and 150 million euros,” Basias said.

He pointed out that the offshore areas being eyed are challenging deep-water blocks. “This means that major deposits will need to be discovered to make the effort feasible for oil companies,” the EDEY boss explained.

Major oil companies currently appear interested and prepared to take risks, Basias told, adding that the results of recent private meetings with investors in London were encouraging.

Commenting on a delayed international tender concerning blocks in the Ionian Sea and off Crete, Basias explained that all related requirements were delievered by EDEY last summer and publication is now being awaited in the EU’s official journal, the OJ.

A seven-year period would be needed for production to begin if hydrocarbon deposits are discovered, according to Basias.

EDEY forming think tank for hydrocarbon legal revision support

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, is moving ahead with a plan to establish a think tank tasked with providing constructive proposals for revisions to the existing legal framework regulating the country’s hydrocarbon sector.

EDEY, which decided to take this initiative at its annual general meeting in June, will now extend invitations to experienced legal officials for think-tank participation.

Through its think tank, EDEY intends to present useful proposals to the energy ministry as support for its hydrocarbon sector efforts.

Initial PGS seismic survey reprocessing results anticipated within September

A reprocessing initiative taken by EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, for older seismic survey data collected by Norway’s PGS in the Ionian Sea and off Crete, covering a total of 12,500 square kilometers, is expected to produce its first results this month, the hydrocarbon company has announced.

EDEY has signed a data reprocessing agreement with PGS, which will strive to complete the project by June, 2018. Once obtained, the reprocessed data should enable the Greek State to provide more detailed information to prospective hydrocarbon investors and, ultimately, increase the likelihood of successful exploration ventures by oil companies.

More sophisticated equipment, offering clearer pictures of existing data and the aforementioned submarine areas, is being applied in the reprocessing effort.

In addition, EDEY is now conducting preliminary work for 3D seismic surveys covering 2,000 square kilometers in the northern part of the Ionian Sea, southwest of Corfu, while densification of existing 2D data is planned for areas south of Crete and south of the Peloponnese, covering a total of 4,000 square kilometers.

Energean’s Katakolo field development plan endorsed

An Energean Oil & Gas hydrocarbon development plan for its Katakolo block, off western Peloponnese, has been approved by EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, and the energy ministry.

A final environmental impact study, expected to take about one year to complete, stands as the next step. It will need to be submitted to the energy ministry and regional authorities for approval, while the local community will also need to be consulted before a final investment plan is reached, probably late in 2018, and drilling activities begin in the winter of 2019-2020, sources informed.

According to latest estimates, the Katakolo field, a certified deposit, possesses approximately 10 million barrels of oil. As a result, the prospective drilling to take place will concern production, not exploration, as is the case when dealing with unexplored areas.

To date, Energean Oil & Gas is believed to have invested over two billion dollars into this specific investment.

Greek hydrocarbon sector set for action, OGJ article notes

Greece’s hydrocarbon sector has remained stagnant since the 90s but the discovery of major deposits in the east Mediterranean has reignited the interest of foreign oil companies, Oil & Gas Journal, an influential industry publication, notes in an article focused on the Greek market.

New seismic surveys, three planned drilling ventures, possible hydrocarbon discoveries and renewed licensing models will allow Greece to stage revitalized international tenders offering licences in 2020-2021, Yiannis Basias, the recently appointed chairman of EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, told the publication.

Basias added that exploration and exploitation licenses to be offered will cover 70 percent of Greece’s offshore region south of Crete and the Ionian Sea, up from 7 percent six months ago.

The OGJ article rated Greece as a relatively low-risk country with regards to the geopolitical factor, compared to other countries in the region. The article also notes that lower oil prices have led to lower equipment costs, meaning that some silver lining exists for investors in spite of the oil price drop of the past three or so years.

Special reference is made to the Katakolo offshore block, west of the Peloponnese, being worked on by Energean Oil & Gas, and its geological features. This license is expected to begin producing in 2020.

The OGJ article described the Ionian Sea and offshore Crete areas as largely unexplored but set for develpments as a result of the interest expressed by a consortium comprised of ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), Total and ExxonMobbil. This consortium’s interest prompted an international tender, now in progress. OGJ described the geological features of these areas as promising.

Exploration work in the Ionian Sea and off Crete will be supported by three ports along Greece’s west side, Igoumenitsa, Astakos and Patras, according to EDEY officials.

EDEY expects three drilling efforts to take place by 2020 off Crete and in the Ionian Sea.


New seismic surveys planned for launch in December

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, plans to stage new seismic surveys later this year at an area covering 46,000 square meters south of Crete. This offshore area had been scanned in 2013 by PGS from north to south but will now be looked at from east to west.

The hydrocarbon company is also moving to conduct more detailed surveys in areas west of Crete and south of the Peloponnese covering 11,000 square meters, while PGS will apply new techniques to soon reprocess older data gathered from the Ionian Sea in an area covering 26,000 square meters.

The news concerning these three initiatives, highlighting EDEY’s intention to intensify local hydrocarbon sector efforts, is expected to be announced today in specialized international industry media to promote the prospect of new sesismic data sale purchases by international oil companies.

Seismic package preorders could cover the cost of the new PGS services to be offered to EDEY and, depending on the level of investor interest, could also generate revenues for the Greek hydrocarbon company.

If all goes well, a PGS vessel will conduct its survey work over a two-month period in December and January, considered ideal as demand for seismic survey work at this time of the year is low, especially in areas west of Africa, meaning the PGS services should be provided at a lower cost.

Besides the new seismic survey work, proceedings are already underway for a new tender to offer licenses south of Crete as a result of interest expressed by a consortium comprised of ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), US giant ExxonMobil and France’s Total.

According to sources, the related text for the international tender’s announcement has already been delivered to the European Commission for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.


Energy ministry planning key hydrocarbon sector changes

The energy ministry plans to make revisions to the legal framework concerning the country’s hydrocarbon sector, the intention being to swiften procedures for tenders offering exploration and exploitation licenses, bolster the operating ability of  EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, and, possibly, change the sector’s concession model. The ministry’s plan is expected to be presented tomorrow at KYSOIP, the Government Council for Economic Policy.

The ministry aims to implement its revisions by the end of the year so as to avoid major delays experienced in the past.

According to the energy ministry’s plan, EDEY is expected to be reshaped as a more flexible enterprise, which would simplify hiring procedures for specialized personnel, needed to take on an anticipated greater workload. EDEY is planning to stage a series of new tenders.

The existing framework allows for lease agreements and production sharing agreements, both standard systems in the global industry. To date, all exploration and exploitation deals signed in Greece have been based on lease agreements.

The government wants to increase its involvement, thereby increasing its share of the investment risk and, by extension, potential benefits. The market’s response to these prospective changes remains to be seen.

EDEY pursuing 3-year plan to draw key hydrocarbon investors

The reprocessing of existing seismic data and accumulation of new data in selected areas, a move aiming to attract petroleum companies, both local and foreign, with experience in hydrocarbon exploration and production, stand as the main objectives set by EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, for the next three-year period, company officials have stressed.

EDEY, now led by a recently appointed new board, aims to revitalize Greece’s oil and gas sector though the establishment of a skilled team possessing deep knowledge in technical, legal and economic issues concerning the country’s hydrocarbon domains, the company noted in a statement.

As a result, EDEY has already teamed up with scientists and technical officials possessing specialized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation skills, EDEY noted.

The company also plans to form a think-tank whose line-up will include legal officials with petroleum sector backgrounds as part of an effort to improve Greece’s exisiting legal framework for the hydrocarbon sector.

EDEY plans to sign a new agreement with Norway’s PGS for the collection of additional seismic data in new areas. PGS, supported by France’s Beicip, had previously conducted a seismic survey for EDEY in 2013.

A total of six exploration licenses have been issued in Greece since 2013, primarily for western parts of the country. The additional seisimic data and reprocessing of older data is expected to draw more investors to vacant blocks in the Ionian Sea, south of Crete, as well as onshore expanses in central Greece.

EDEY receiving EBRD support for offshore safety rules

The deadline of an international tender launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the recruitment of a specialized consultant to offer EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, guidance in the implementation of offshore safety regulations, a task the hydrocarbon company has taken on, expired just days ago.

EDEY assumed the responsibility of monitoring and implementing offshore safety regulations in 2016 following a Greek energy ministry proposal.

In other parts of Europe, legal obligations for the safety of offshore regulations vary and are covered by either independent agencies or ministries. For example, in Cyprus the task has been assumed by the country’s labor ministry while in the UK and Norway, an independent authority has been charged with the task.

EDEY sought support from the EBRD for the task. The EBRD is offering financial support, assessment of current conditions, and is also staging the international tender, seeking an international expert who will audit Greece’s exisiting offshore facilities and offer training to personnel.

The EBRD expects to reach a decision on the international tender’s preferred bidder in about two weeks.

EDEY hydrocarbon plans presented by chief in Greek Energy 2017 article

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, is focusing its efforts on promoting the multiple hydrocarbon prospects presented by Greece, currently producing crude at just one field, the company’s recently appointed chairman Yiannis Basias notes in an article appearing in Greek Energy 2017, an annual energypress industry publication.

“Our aim is to revitalize Greece’s oil and gas sectors having first created an organization that possesses deep knowledge on technical, legal and financial aspects concerning the counry’s hydrocarbon sector,” notes Basias, who was appointed head of EDEY last November for a five-year term.

The EDEY head notes that, as part of the effort to build a formidable team, the hydrocarbon company has, since December, 2016, been appointing well-trained young PhDs from Greece and around the world, as well as equally qualified officials made available by Greek ministries.

This staffing procedure has moved swiftly to date and is planned to continue throughout 2017 and 2018, Basias informs, adding that, at present, EDEY maintains a ten-member team possessing the credentials to talk on equal terms with prospective investors.

“We need to create a technical team that knows what we’re looking and negotiating for,” Basias stresses in the Greek Energy 2017 article. “We can’t succeed in negotiations if we do not know what out objectives are. Otherwise, negotiations usually end up being dominated by legal and financial matters.”

The priority at EDEY over the next few months will be to study and promote Greek offshore and onshore locations that have yet to attract the interest of investors, Basias points out.

A total of 17 blocks, still available following a previous Greek hydrocarbon tender, appear to be drawing the interest of major investors, the EDEY chief notes, adding that the discovery of the giant Zohr gas deposit in Egyptian territory by Eni has turned the industry’s attention to the wider east Mediterranean region, including western Greece, where the geological features are believed to be similar.

The area south of Crete is also a key part of EDEY’s wider plans and is generating interest despite complex geological conditions, Basias informs in the article. Subsequently, EDEY has signed a partnership agreement with the Technical University of Crete. It includes a seismic data simulation program concerning west Crete as well as the creation of a hydrocarbon data bank for all of Greece.


EDEY presents new hydrocarbon objectives at Texas event

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, plans to promote seismic surveys covering 83,000 square meters, the company’s recently appointed new chairman Yiannis Basias informed an industry event staged in Texas yesterday. Greek market opportunities were highlighted to investors.

EDEY officials presented three new seismic survey projects to be promoted by the hydrocarbon company.

Complementary 3D scans covering 26,000 square meters along Corfu’s southwest, west and northwest, are included in the EDEY plan.

It also features complementary 3D scans for an 11,000 square-meter offshore expanse stretching from a region south of Mani, past Kythira, and all the way down to western Crete.

Another prospective seismic survey covering 46,000 square meters is planned for an offshore area south of Crete.

The objective of the hydrocarbon company is to make the most of a current favorable investment climate, internationally, for the wider east Mediterranean region. EDEY wants to promote investments in regions that had been largely neglected in the past as a result of high extraction costs.

These costs have fallen in more recent times as a result of technological advancements in exploration activity. Also, oil prices are managing to hold – marginally – at levels offering sustainability.

The EDEY chief highlighted that 17 of 20 Greek offshore blocks offered through an international tender back in 2014 remain available to investors.

Of the 17 available blocks, it is believed that ten possess great potential to attract investor interest.

Besides the aforementioned areas, EDEY is also working on promoting exploration in the wider Macedonia region of northern Greece. Considerable survey data has already been accumulated for the area.

Areas for prospective exploration in Greece’s north include the Thermaic Gulf and the sea region west and east of Prinos. Onshore areas in Thrace, northeastern Greece, are also being considered.

The new EDEY leadership has expressed satisfaction over the energy ministry’s favorable response to its renewed exploration drive as well as a proposal by the hydrocarbon company for new legislation leading to revised exploration contracts.


EDEY expects developments concerning its seismic survey plans over the next two to three months.