ZAGREB (Croatia), September 10 (SeeNews) - Croatia has received one bid in its tender for oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the Dinarides area, the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency (CHA) said on Tuesday.
The bid was sent in the country's third onshore oil and gas exploration tender which was opened in January, with candidates being able to compete for four exploration areas covering a total area of 12,000 square kilometres, CHA said in a statement.
CHA did not provide the name of the bidder.
The agency will now evaluate the bid and, if all necessary conditions are met, will forward a draft decision for awarding an exploration and exploitation licence to the energy ministry for approval.
"It is expected that the whole process will be completed by the beginning of next year," CHA said.
The Dinarides, or the Dinaric Alps, are a mountain range in Southern and Southeastern Europe, stretching from Italy through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo to Albania, and separating the Balkan Peninsula from the Adriatic Sea.
Last month, the government in Zagreb awarded six oil and gas exploration and exploitation licences for locations in the Pannonian Basin, northern Croatia, to four companies: Croatian energy firm INA (two permits), Vermilion Zagreb Exploration, part of Canada-based Vermilion (one permit), local retailer of petroleum products Crodux Derivati Dva (two permits) and US oil company Aspect Holdings via its subsidiary Aspect Croatia (one permit).
The four companies are expected to invest some 78 million euro ($85 million) in exploratory activities and to drill a total of 25 exploration wells. The first seismic exploration works are expected to take place in the second half of 2020.
These works will be carried out in locations in the western Slavonija region, which is located in the Pannonian Basin, largely bordered by the Danube, Drava and Sava rivers.