Croatia Awards Adriatic Licenses
The Croatian Government has granted 10 licenses to three consortia for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic.
OMV AG and Marathon Oil Corp took the spotlight, receiving the award of seven exploration blocks to their partnership (North Adriatic 8, Central Adriatic 10, Central Adriatic 11, Central Adriatic 22, Central Adriatic 23, South Adriatic 27 and South Adriatic 28).
Bids were received from a total number of 6 companies for 15 of the 29 blocks available to the applicants for first license round for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic which concluded on 3rd November 2014. The received bids were evaluated by an Expert Committee headed by Minister of the Economy, Ivan Vrdoljak.
The estimated value of investment plans in the exploration activities for which the companies were competing amounts 4 billion HRK. It should be noted that 100 million HRK (approx. $15.7 million) will be paid directly to the state budget after signing the contracts. "We are extremely pleased with the job done. These are serious companies with extensive experience using the latest technology that meet the most demanding environmental standards," said Minister of the Economy, Ivan Vrdoljak.
Croatia currently covers about 65% of its annual gas consumption of 2.7 billion cubic metres from its own fields offshore and onshore. It hopes to be able to meet the entire local demand from the domestic wells following the new exploration efforts, said Tomislav Cerovec, spokesman of the Ministry of Economy.
Awarded companies will now have until Apr. 2 to sign their exploration and exploitation agreements, said the President of the Management Board of the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, Barbara Dorić.