powered by
φωτογραφικό υλικό: Νίκος Δανιηλίδης

 Procedure for granting exploration and exploitation licenses of areas, on permanent basis

Useful documents

Katakolon Lease Agreement 2014

Patraikos (West) Lease Agreement 2014

Ioannina Lease Agreement 2014

MD for Ratification of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Ioannina Contract Area [Greek text]

JMD for Ratification of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Katakolon Contract Area [Greek text]

JMD for Ratification of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Patraikos Gulf (West) Contract Area [Greek text]

Review of public consultation comments on Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) for Katakolon and Patraikos Gulf (West) Contract Areas [Greek text]


Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Ioannina Contract Area [Greek text]: 
Greek text , Maps , English Non Technical Summary

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Katakolon Contract Area [English Non Technical Summary at page 453]

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Patraikos Gulf (West) Contract Area [English Non Technical Summary at page 463]


RE-UPDATED Data Availability for the Open Door Invitation

Further Information and Guidance on the Open Door Invitation

Announcement in the EU Journal 7_3_2012

Open Door Invitation for granting and using authorizations for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons.

Block Coordinates for areas under concession in W Greece.

Map of seismic lines

Map of seismic line data

Spreadsheet of Seismic lines in W and SW Greece

Spreadsheet of Wells in W Greece

Shapefile of Seismic lines in W and SW Greece

Shapefile of Wells in W Greece

Oil seeps – map 1

Oil seeps – map 2

Relevant Literature

Useful Links

1. The Legal framework

According to the Law 2289/1995, which incorporated a large part of the Directive 94/22/EE, concerning the prospection, exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Greek legislation, in conjunction with the new Law 4001/2011 which modernises and clarifies the legal framework being in force since 1995, the rights for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons are granted on behalf of the Greek State, according to the following procedures (Article 156, paragraph 17 L 4001/2011):

a) Either after an invitation to tender, for the areas of paragraph 4,that is approved by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, published in the Government Gazette and sent for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The deadline for the submission of the offers is defined in the invitation and can not be less than ninety (90) days from the day of the last publication.

b) Or after submission of application by an interested party for an area which is not included in the invitation to tender according to case a. The H.H.R.M. SA, if the application is accepted, issues invitation to tender, approved by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, published in the Government Gazette and sent for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The deadline for the submission of offers by other interested parties is at least ninety (90) days from the day of the last publication.

c) Or after an open invitation (open door) for expression of interest, when the area for which the concession is requested is available on a permanent basis or has been the subject of a previous procedure which has not resulted in the conclusion of a lease agreement or a production sharing agreement or has been abandoned by contractor, in the case that he has withdrawn from the agreement or has terminated it. The Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, by notice, published in the Government Gazette and sent for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union shall notify the above areas with the minimum basic terms of the concessions as well as any other relevant information. Interested parties may tender for a concession in more than one area. The offers are submitted until the last day of the first and second semester of each calendar year.
Within thirty (30) days from the end of the semester, the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change announces that the area is excluded from the areas which are available as above, in case the area is on an ongoing process of concession. The offers are evaluated and among them is selected the one most advantageous to the State, following negotiations with the interested parties and based on the selection criteria of the open invitation.
The deadline for submission of offers is specified in the call for tenders and cannot be less than ninety (90) days from the day of last publication.

At present, the interest is focussed on case (c), since the country disposes a considerable number of areas that meet the above criteria and is believed that the adoption of this procedure will accelerate the processes and restart of the exploration activities very soon.


2. The background of the exploration activities in Greece

Exploration activities for Hydrocarbons in Greece date back to the early 20th century, with the first drilling operations carried out by international Oil Companies namely: London Oil Development, HELLIS, PAN-ISRAEL, DEILMAN-ILIO in the areas Elos,Keri in Zakynthos, in North-West Peloponnese and Evros Thrace.

In 1960 begins a more systematic effort by the former Ministry of Industry with the aid of IGME (the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration) and the French Petroleum Institute (IFP) as its consultant. Extensive geological surveys were out, in particular in the continental Greece and 17 shallow wells were drilled. Contemporaneously, major oil companies obtained concessions, namely BP (in Etoloakarnania), ESSO (in NW Peloponnese, Zakynthos, Paxoi), HUNT (Thessalonica), TEXACO (in Thermaikos golf), CHEVRON (in Lemnos), ANSCHUTZ (in Thessalonica - Epanomi) and OCEANIC -COLORADO (in the Thracian Sea), when more than 40 wells were drilled on land and sea. Most of these wells drilled geological targets with promising indications of hydrocarbons and contributed to the enrichment of the geological knowledge and to the strengthening of the belief for the oil potential of the country. The results, of these activities was the discovery of the first exploitable reserves in the offshore of Thasos (Oil field of Prinos and the natural gas field of South Kavalla 1971-1974).

In 1975 the Public Petroleum Corporation ( D.E.P. S.A.) is founded and in the Greek parliament approved the first Law 468/76 concerning the exploration and production of hydrocarbons.
In 1985, DEP EKY S.A. is founded as subsidiary of D.E.P. S.A. and assumed the National upstream sector as well as the licensing procedures.
In 1995, the Law 2289/95 is voted which incorporated the relevant EU directive 94/22/EE.
During that period 24 exploration and production concessions in areas on land and sea without competition were granted by the Greek State to DEP S.A and DEP EKY S.A which in their turn performed 73.000 km 2D seismic ,2.500 km2 3D seismic and 73 exploration wells based on the the results of seismic surveys.

The result of the above exploration activity was the discovery of the offshore oil field in Katakolo western Greece and the natural gas filed in Epanomi - Thessalonica, as well as interesting concentrations of biogenic gas. The geological knowledge of these areas was strengthened, the evaluation of areas of interest became systematic and the collection and creation of an extensive database of the exploration data consists a serious base for a new ventures.

In 1996, the first international contract of concessions for six areas took place, as shown in (Figure 1.) and four areas in Western Greece were finally granted:
NW Peloponnese and Etoloakarnania to the company Triton and Ioannina and Western Patras Gulf to the company Enterprise Oil. 85 million € were invested in seismic surveys and drillings. The exploration was not successful but is to be mentioned that the executed wells did not reached the scheduled depths according to the initial agreement for the areas of Western Patras and Aetolokarnania.
I the concession of Ioannina area the abandonment of the deep drilling (4.000 m) due to serious technical problems by the company Enterprise Oil and in the concession of Western Patras Gulf, were the planned drilling was not performed resulted to the withdrawal of the involved companies The companies withdrew in 2000- 2001 (letter of credit $ 8 million deducted) .


Figure 1: Areas of the first round of concessions according to the Law 2289/95

In 2007, with an amendment of the Law 3587/2007 (article 20), the Greek State withdrew all the concessions offered to DEP/DEP-EKY/ELPE {after the privatisation of DEP EKY and the change of the shareholder composition of the ELPE SA (Hellenic Petroleum SA)} which (concessions) return to YPEKA (Ministry of Environment and Climatic Change) except those in which ELPE SA participates in the wider area of Prinos.

The concessions that returned to the State are shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Concessions to DEP/DEP-EKY/ELPE that were withdrawn according to the Law 3587/2007 (Article 20)


3. Framework of Present day Actions

Basic conclusions as the result of the up to day exploration activities:

• The density of the seismic surveys id low compared to total acreage of the country. The early 2D seismic recordings are of a low resolution compared to the today's standards. They certainly provide valuable information and constitute a very important base for the next phase of surveys. The seismic data acquired in 1999-2000 are highly reliable.

• The orientation of the exploration wells was focused mainly in shallow and medium depth targets that, as proved, present limited interest, although not explored in their entity. In deeper targets (> 4.000 m), where the prospects are more favourable, no exploration wells were performed. The exploration was focused mainly on land areas, while at sea to medium sea depths (until 500 m), and was limited to certain areas of the Ionian Sea, a part of the Thracian Sea and of Thermaikos Gulf.

The Country cannot be assessed as underexplored area and is classified as frontier area in accordance with the international terminology.

The policy that Ministry for Energy Environment and Climatic Change recently follows and systematically implements, is targeted primarily at covering the lack of coverage with seismic surveys of wide areas of the country with the announcement of “INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC INVITATION” for the participation in seismic exploration activities for data acquisition in non-exclusive base within the maritime area in Western and Southern Greece, in order to ensure the acquisition, the processing and the interpretation of data, as well as the reprocessing and the interpretation of existing seismic data according to the modern standards implemented in the oil and natural gas industries. These data will help to assess the potential in hydrocarbons of the area and to promote the International Licensing Round for the Exploration and Exploitation of Hydrocarbons within a short term.

Second immediate goal of Ministry for Energy Environment and Climatic Change is the acceleration of the licensing procedures for the above areas according to the open call procedure, shortening considerably the time for the forthcoming round for concessions taking full advantage of the economic trends in the wider region, which create a positive climate, so that the drilling operations will focus on targets and depths which could give positive results. It should be taken into account that the Exploration & Production of Hydrocarbons is an extremely complex business activity, of high risk (geological and drilling), high capital investment and requires specialized technologies and time.

While based on the legal framework, the deadline of the offers for the available areas is the end of each semester; it is advisable to reveal the intention of the Ministry and the whole Government, so to enter into public debate, in order to have all views expressed and advance to the next phase of operations in a collegial way. Simultaneously, the time of consultation will be used for the collection, officially by the State, of all studies that have been made for the region of Greece, both from Greek Research Institutes and Academic Departments and from International Organisations (Geological Societies, Institutes of other countries).


4. Suggested areas for integration in the process "open call - open door»

From all the areas covering the criteria of the tender process "open call", it is intended to promote the following:

1. Patras Gulf (Map 1)

The relatively recent seismic surveys in the area have detected interesting oil prone geological structures. The estimated recoverable reserves are around 200 MMbbls.

The most promising structure of the concession was not drilled from the owner consortium (1st Round of Concessions) because the company (Triton) for internal business options abandoned in 2001 the area because. The area is considered difficult, since similar geological targets have not been drilled so far in the Greek territory.

Map 1 - Patras Gulf


2. Northern Greece Epirus - Ioannina (Map 2)

It is an interesting area for deep targets in a highly mountainous relief. It is estimated that it would require a high cost of seismic and drilling activities for the detection of oil probable geological targets at great depths (> 4.000 m).

The well targeted to explore a large structure with oil potential was not completed for technical reasons (high pressures) and the consortium that had the rights (2002, 1st Round Concessions) returned the area.

The discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in these deep targets will upgrade impressively the oil interest for the region of Western Greece. The initial estimations of the recoverable oil reserves are about 50-80 MMbbls.

Map 2 - Northern section of Epirus – Ioannina

3. West Katakolon (Map 3)

The katakolo oilfield were discovered in 1982 by DEP-SA with estimated recoverable reserves 3 MMbbls in a depth of 2.400-2.600 m. This location is about 3,5 km offshore of the Cape Katakolon. At the time of its discovery was considered sub economic, due to the sea depth > of 250 m, the prices of oil at that time and the presence of H2S and CO2.

At present, oil prices and the technology allow the exploitation from the shore by means of inclined – sub horizontal wells, without affecting at all the maritime area and the tourist activity particularly in the harbour of Katakolo.  

The area is evaluated positively and is expected to attract investors’ interest because of his neighbouring position with Albania, which disposes similar oil systems.

Map 3 - Western Katakolo




| | | | | |