Athens, February 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Marina Spyropoulou
Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis signed on Thursday the awarding of three on shore natural gas exploration licences in western Greece to two companies who won an international tender, according to a ministry statement.
The preferred bidders are Hellenic Petroleum, the country’s largest oil refiner, for the Arta- Preveza block, as well as the block in southeastern Peloponnese peninsula, and Energean Oil and Gas SA, Greece’s only hydrocarbons producer company, for the Aetoloakarnania prefecture block.
The two companies had won also the first licensing round in 2014. Hellenic Petroleum has been awarded drilling licences in the Patraic gulf and Energean in the regions of Ioannina and Katakolo in western Greece and Prinos- Kavala basin in northern Greece.
After decades of inaction regarding the exploration for oil and gas reserves Greece has stepped up relevant efforts lately.
In addition to the licences awarded today, Athens has also tendered 20 offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean south of Crete island. The evaluation of the bids submitted is pending.