ECONOMY

Tender launched for hydrocarbon surveying in three regions

The road opened up on Wednesday for the submission of offers for the concession tender concerning three land regions in Western Greece that are believed to hold hydrocarbon reserves. The proclamation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union and applications must be submitted within three months (by February 6, 2015).

The tender was triggered by Italian company Enel’s request in April regarding hydrocarbon surveying in the regions of Arta and Preveza in southern Epirus, Aitoloacarnania in western Greece and the northwestern Peloponnese, as the law provides for a tender to be launched so that other parties can also bid for each region.

In fact there have already been expressions of interest in the tender from Hellenic Petroleum, which has also undertaken the Patraikos Gulf near Patra, and Energean Oil, which has earned the concession of the regions of Ioannina in Epirus and Katakolo, off the western Peloponnesian coast.

The proclamation for the three regions in Western Greece had been sent to the EU’s official gazette along with that for the concession of 20 blocks in the Ionian Sea and to the south of Crete, which according to estimates will be published in the coming days. That tender is therefore in the pipeline too, and the Environment and Energy Ministry is expecting the participation of at least three major global oil companies.

During his visit to the United States last week, Minister Yiannis Maniatis presented the program for the utilization of Greek hydrocarbons to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth and Energy Catherine Novelli and Michelle Patron, special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior director for energy and climate change on the National Security Staff.

However the Greek ministry has made it clear that the round of concessions regarding the land blocks at Arta-Preveza, Aitoloacarnania and in the northwestern Peloponnese will precede the bigger tender concerning the Ionian Sea and the region south of Crete.