The report, quoting a source close to the government, suggests that the three have been selected from six bids received last month when the international tender closed.
“We are satisfied, we’ve received bids from big, serious companies,” Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak said after the tender. which 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, closed last month.
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. Public debate will continue even once the firms granted the concession are confirmed. One of the groups strongly against it is the Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance (CASA), a united group of citizens for preservation of the Adriatic Sea, who have responded by launching a petition to try to stop the action.
The government are expected to confirm the names of the three firms within the next few weeks.