The international tender for the concession to explore Croatia’s Adriatic coast for oil and gas closed on Monday at 2pm, with the Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak confirming that six bids had been received…
“We are satisfied, we’ve received bids from big, serious companies,” Vrdoljak said on Monday, with local media speculating that oil giants such as Exxon, Shell, Chevron and Total were among them.
Vrdoljak said that a decision will be made by the end of the year, with the best bid selected. The tender consisted of 29 block areas, ranging from 1,000 – 1,600 square kilometres, eight in the northern part of the coast and 21 in central and southern Dalmatia. The six bids received were for 15 blocks in total. The successful bids are expected to be given 5-year concessions to explore, and 25-year concessions to exploit.
With Croatia heavily reliant on tourism, local and international environment groups have launched campaigns to try to stop drilling in the Adriatic. Yesterday a group of protestors gathered in front of the Ministry of Economy, and former Enviroment Minister Mirela Holy spoke out about the dangers of drilling.
Holy, whose own political party is now the third most popular in the country, said that exploiting oil and gas was an environmental risk because the Adriatic is a shallow and open sea, and that any accident would be a disaster for Croatia.
Vrdoljak says that concession contracts with the winning bidders should be signed by April 2015.