Further details of Croatia's recent offshore licensing round emerged Monday when Italy's Eni and junior oil firm Rockhopper Exploration confirmed that they had been awarded shares in Block 9.
Croatia announced Friday that 10 licenses had been awarded to explore for oil and gas off the country's Adriatic coast. Houston-based Marathon Oil and Austria's OMV won seven of the 10 licenses awarded, with two of the remaining three licenses going to INA – a company jointly owned by the Croatian government and Hungary's MOL.
Monday saw Eni and Rockhopper give further details of their Block 9 award. Eni will be the operator of the block, with a 60-percent share, while Rockhopper will hold the remaining 40-percent interest.
Block 9 is located in the relatively-shallow water of what Rockhopper described as the "prolific" Northern Adriatic gas province. It contains the previously discovered Ksenija accumulation along with a prospect called Klaudija.
Rockhopper said the anticipated work program consists of seismic acquisition, processing and reprocessing during the first exploration phase of three years. A well is to be drilled during the second exploration phase.
Eni and Rockhopper have until April 2, 2015 to sign a production sharing contract with the Croatian Hydrocarbon Authority.
Eni is already active in Croatia, jointly operating with INA two exploration and production licenses in the offshore Adriatic region.
The license award marks the latest move by Rockhopper to diversify its activities away from the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic after it agreed to buy Mediterranean Oil & Gas in May 2014.
Rockhopper Chief Executive Sam Moody commented in a company statement:
"We are delighted to be partnering with the leading international producer in Croatia as we build our position in our second core area of the greater Mediterranean region following the acquisition of MOG. This represents an outstanding low cost opportunity to increase our acreage position in an area with proven hydrocarbons."
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