ECONOMY

Two bids for hydrocarbon blocks

Greek companies Hellenic Petroleum and Energean Oil are the only suitors in the tender to survey for and utilize hydrocarbons in three land blocks in western Greece, the Energy Ministry announced on Friday.

The original interest expressed by Italy’s Enel, France’s Total, Anglo-Dutch Shell and Spain’s Repsol did not materialize in the bid on Friday at the Energy Ministry. The withdrawal of the foreign companies’ interest is attributed both to the decline in global oil rates and the perceived political risk following statements from the new government regarding a revision of the institutional framework for hydrocarbons, given that these tenders concern investments with a 25-year horizon.

That development is also a bad omen ahead of the tender for the 20 blocks in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete, for which bids should be tabled in May.

However it is seen as quite positive that there are two strong offers from the Greek companies, which – according to the statements they issued – will be competing for one of the blocks, Arta-Preveza. Hellenic Petroleum has also bid for the block in the northwestern Peloponnese, adjacent to that in the Patraikos Gulf which the listed firm has already undertaken, while Energean Oil wishes to claim the block in Aitoloacarnania, close to the Ioannina reserve which it has already accessed.

The Arta-Preveza region is seen as the most promising of the three, because its geological structures are linked to some in Albania where a reserve has already been identified.

Hellenic Petroleum stated that its bid was “the outcome of the group’s expressed interest in the development of the country’s hydrocarbon surveying and production sector.” Energean Oil said in its statement that the two blocks it has bid for constitute the natural geological continuation of the reserves at Ioannina in Epirus and Katakolo in the Peloponnese. “This is also tangible evidence of support for the government’s efforts toward the productive reconstruction of the country and the return of the Greek economy to a course of growth,” Energean Oil added.