Greece, Repsol has completed its withdrawal from the Greek hydrocarbon market

, SEE Energy News

Spanish Repsol has completed its withdrawal from the Greek hydrocarbon market with the finalization of a transfer of its 60 % share in onshore Ioannina block in northwestern Greece to its project partner Energean.

In early 2021, a consortium consisting of Repsol and Energean Oil & Gas informed the Greek Hydrocarbons Management Company (EDEY) that they will surrender their hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation rights for the onshore Etoloakarnania block in northwestern Greece. The reasoning behind this decision is the sharp drop in oil prices that has made upstream investments unfeasible, as well as increased efforts to reduce their environmental footprint.

Soon after, in March, Repsol announced that it will pull out from onshore Ioannina block in the country’s northwest, leaving Energean Oil & Gas as the sole operator. In 2017, Repsol and Energean have entered into so-called farm-in agreement for 60 % stake in two onshore blocks in western Greece. The agreement envisages the lease of stake in these two blocks, which will also be operated by Repsol – Ioannina and Etoloakarnania. The two blocks cover a total of 8,547 square kilometers are priority exploration targets for Energean and are strategically important for Greek hydrocarbons sector.

Finally, in July, the company withdrew from its last hydrocarbon exploration license in Greece – the offshore block in the Ionian Sea, which it held in partnership with Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE).

Repsol’s new business plan will limit the company’s presence to just 14 of 34 markets in which it has maintained interests. Repsol has also set an objective to reduce its annual investments in the upstream sector from 2.4 billion euros in 2019 to 1.6 billion euros by 2025.

Earlier in August, ELPE has also withdrawn from two onshore blocks – Arta-Preveza and Northwestern Peloponnese.

Four investors remain active in Greece’s hydrocarbon exploration and production market: ELPE, Energean, French Total and US ExxonMobil, at a total of 11 licenses.