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Croatia issues six oil, gas exploration permits

Author Iskra Pavlova
Croatia issues six oil, gas exploration permits Oil and Gas Exploration and Production/ All rights reserved

ZAGREB (Croatia), August 29 (SeeNews) - The Croatian government said on Thursday it adopted a decision to award six oil and gas exploration and exploitation licences for locations in the northeastern part of the country to four companies.

Croatian energy firm INA and wholesaler and retailer of petroleum products Crodux Derivati Dva will each receive two permits, while Vermilion Zagreb Exploration, part of Canada-based Vermilion, and Hungarian firm Aspect Croatia will be granted one permit each, the government said in a statement after its regular meeting.

Works will be carried out in locations in northeastern Croatia, in the western Slavonija region, which is located in the Pannonian Basin, largely bordered by the Danube, Drava and Sava rivers.

The four companies have submitted bids for six of a total of seven sites offered in the tender, which spread on more than 14,000 sq km in the Pannonian Basin.

They competed in the government's second tender for oil and gas exploration and production, which was opened back in October 2018, the statement said.

Energy minister Tomislav Coric was quoted as saying in the statement that the permits will allow for the drilling of 25 exploitation wells in two phases.

The new locations represent a continuation of Croatia's strategy to launch new investments and revive domestic production, the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency (CHA) said back in June when announcing the tender results, but without providing the names of the four bidders. 

Back then, CHA has said that Vermilion was starting drilling for oil and gas at two locations in Croatia's eastern region of Slavonija.

The drilling of the two wells is part of Vermilion's working programme, which the company has pledged to carry out under its exploration and production agreement signed with the Croatian government in June 2016.