Greek refiner Hellenic Petroleum (HP) doubled its first half 2017 Profit and is poised to expand upstream, including offshore Crete in tandem with two international oil companies.
Its profit, €224mn ($266mn), was more than double its 1H 2016 profit of €108m. The key drivers behind this were its refining, supply and trading business, benefiting from stronger benchmark margins, improved operations and higher production, it said August 31.
Upstream, its exploration work at the Patraikos Gulf area continued as planned. It also signed exploration licences for the onshore areas "Arta-Preveza" and NW Peloponisos" on 25 May 2017, while negotiations for offshore blocks 1 and 10 are in process. HP also submitted an expression of interest for exploration in offshore areas off Crete through its participation in a Joint Venture with Total and ExxonMobil.
Indicative of Total’s interest is the fact that its CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, will be accompanying the visit by French president, Emmanuel Macron to Greece, starting September 7. HP president, Efstathios Tsotsoros, said one of the company's objectives for this five year period was supporting active participation in the national search for hydrocarbons through its joint venture with major international companies such as Exxon, Total and Edison.
HP also said that the sale of gas transporter Desfa, of which it owns 35%, is in progress and it has attracted interest from a number of international companies active in the sector.
In the meanwhile, the Greek hydrocarbon management company Edey said August 25 that there were good prospects for attracting large international upstream companies to the 17 blocks covered by its latest licensing round, published in Greece’s Official Journal August 11. Edey also then outlined its objectives for the period 2017 to 2021, with particular reference to the prospects for exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Greece, following recent discoveries in Egypt, and attracting experienced international companies. Edey also intends to create a think tank, calling on lawyers and professionals with experience in petroleum, to contribute to thinking about improvements to the current hydrocarbon legislation.
Edey and the energy ministry confirmed September 1 the approval of Energean’s programme to develop the production area in the Western Katakolon. The company intends to take the final investment decision by the end of 2018 and start drilling operations by the end of 2019.
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