Adriatic Driling: Milanović Supports Further Exploration of Hydrocarbon Reserves in the Adriatic Sea

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The Croatian Prime Minister gives his opinion on Adriatic drilling. 

Prime Minister Zoran Milanović said on Sunday that he is committed to the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic Sea, in order to ascertain the reserves of oil and gas, and only then will it be possible to decide whether there should be exploitation of the reserves, reports Jutarnji List on August 16, 2015.

“Exploration first, and then we’ll see whether there will be exploitation of the reserves”, said Milanović in Vela Luka on Korčula in response to a journalist’s question whether Croatia would abandon the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic.

“I have clearly said to those who would like to have a referendum every week, which I am not against, that we should wait a bit to see whether there is gas. And, if it turns out that there is gas for, say, the next five generations of Croatians, then we can say we are not going to use it. So, research first, and when we find that we have gas reserves, then we will all shut it down”, said the prime minister sardonically.

A consortium of companies Marathon Oil and OMV decided in July against the exploration and exploitation of oil in the Adriatic. They announced that the unresolved border issue between Croatia and Montenegro is the reason for that decision.

Government and Agency for Hydrocarbons have said that in September they will announce the second public tender for the Adriatic, and that contracts will be signed with other companies. In July, the parliament voted down interpellations on the role of the government in the implementation of legislation and policy documents regarding exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic Sea, which were supported by opposition parties HDZ and ORaH.

The ruling coalition endorsed the view of the government that all conditions for a lawful and transparent procedure for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in Croatia have been met. On the other hand, HDZ stressed that the government did not provide all the necessary conditions for carrying out a lawful and transparent procedure. The government was also criticized that it did not show sufficient concern for the Adriatic sea and the preservation of the marine environment.

The ORaH party has also claimed for the very beginning that the process of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic is not transparent nor fully in line with Croatian laws and EU directives.


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