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ZAGREB (Croatia), July 1 (SeeNews) - Four companies have placed bids in Croatia's tender for onshore oil and gas exploration and production, the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency (CHA) said.
The four companies have submitted bids for six of the total of seven offered sites, which spread on more than 14,000 square kilometres in the Pannonian Basin, in northern Croatia, CHA said in a statement on Friday without providing the names of the bidders.
This is the government's second tender for oil and gas exploration and production opened in October 2018. The new locations represent a continuation of the strategy to launch new investments and revive domestic production.
The submitted bids will be now evaluated by the tender committee which will then propose to the respective ministry to award the oil and gas exploration and production permits.
"The permit issuing is a precondition for opening talks on signing a contract between the government and the selected bidder," the head of CHA, Marijan Krpan, said in the statement. "It is expected that the whole process will be completed by the beginning of next year."
CHA said that as a result of the first onshore tender, two new drilling wells have been opened, which should confirm in the coming days the first deposits.
A total of 17 million kuna ($2.6 million/2.3 million euro) have been paid in exploration taxes to the local governments in the past three years since the launch of exploration works.
In June, the agency said that Canada-based 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.
(1 euro = 7.39901 kuna)