Montenegro: Gov extends oil exploration tender until may 2014 awaiting bidders

, SEE Energy News

The deadline to bid for oil exploration and drilling rights for oil and natural gas off the southern Adriatic coast of Montenegro has been extended until 15 May. The country’s economy ministry said it had pushed back the original 28 February deadline at the request of potential bidders who needed more time to prepare their bids.

“Interested companies said they needed three months to prepare their bids from when the government adopts a law on taxing the upstream hydrocarbon industry and defines the concession model,” the news wire quoted the ministry as saying.

The government is expected to debate the law and concession terms in an urgent procedure this month, the ministry said.

The tender offers the exploration of 13 blocks, covering an area of 3000 square kilometres.

In 2011, 15 international companies expressed an interest in searching for oil and gas in Montenegro as the Balkan nation moves to lessen dependence on imports.

The government said concessions at locations that prove promising will be awarded for a period of 30 years.

The small Balkan country, which became independent in 2006, has no oil production but initial data suggests the nation might one day have enough resources to cover its oil and gas demand.

The need for new energy sources is acute across the Balkans, a region that has lacked investment in capacity for nearly two decades due to wars and political turmoil.

A joint venture between Russia’s Neftegazinkor, a unit of state-owned Zarubezhneft, and Serbian oil firm NIS, has started exploring oilfields in Bosnia’s Serb Republic.

Bosnia’s other autonomous region, the Bosniak-Croat federation, expects to start talks in late February with a unit of oil major Royal Dutch Shell on a concession for oil exploration.

Croatia also plans to publish in the first half of 2014 tenders for gas and oil exploration concessions in central and southern regions of the Adriatic Sea and in the second half for onshore projects.

Source; Serbia Energy See desk

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