Montenegrin Government announced that it has extended the deadline for the completion of the first exploratory phase of the project for hydrocarbon drilling in the Adriatic Sea led by a consortium of Italian Eni and Russian Novatek. The deadline was pushed back by six months.
The statement from the Government said that it has assessed as justified the application of the consortium for the extension of the deadline, given the difficulties of operational and geological nature encountered during the drilling process. Exploratory drillings started in March this year and were planned to be completed in four to six months, with preliminary results available by the end of 2021.
In May 2014, three consortia submitted bids in the tender for awarding the hydrocarbon exploration and production concessions in the Adriatic Sea. Tender referred to 13 concession blocks with overall area of 3,000 km2. The bids were submitted by the consortium of Marathon Oil Corporation (USA) and OMV (Austria), consortium of Eni (Italy) and Novatek (Russia) and consortium of Energean Oil & Gas (Greece) and Mediterranean Oil and Gas (England). In February 2016, the concession contract for oil and gas exploration for exploration blocks 4118-4, 4118-5, 4118-9 and 4118-10 in the Adriatic Sea has been signed with Italian-Russian consortium consisting of companies Eni and Novatek, which includes two exploration periods that last four plus three years, while the contract with Energean for two offshore blocks, 4219-26 and 4218-30, was signed in March 2017. Energean is still in the process of finding a partner for the project.