And Now INA? Croatian Oil Company the Lastest to Give Up on Adriatic Drilling?

Total Croatia News

More concerns and possible withdrawals from the Adriatic drilling project, this time a lot closer to home. 

MOL, which is one of the shareholders of INA, wants to withdraw from the oil and gas exploration in the south of the Adriatic, for which INA received a concession from the government. Actually, MOL has wanted to withdraw from the very beginning, because it had not even hoped to receive the concession. As an excuse, it wants to take advantage of the recent decision by Marathon Oil and OMV to withdraw from the project as well, due to falling oil prices and the unprofitability of new investments. However, the plan was spoiled by the Croatian members of the INA management, who a few days ago called for the signing of the concession agreement with the government, according to an article in Novi List on August 6, 2015.

The most likely scenario is that the chairman of the board Aldott and two MOL’s members will outvote three of the Croatian members of the board and decide not to sign the concession contract, which will mean that INA will not take part in the project. That means that only Italy’s ENI, together with British Medoil, will remain in the project. Marathon Oil and OMV have already cancelled their concession contracts for seven explorations fields, while Ina was awarded two fields, and ENI and Medoil one.

MOL and INA have applied to the tender in April of last year for the concession on the two most southern Adriatic fields, where the job is the most demanding because of the great depth of the sea. They were convinced that they will not win the concession. The government, however, decided that INA should be granted the concession, although technically and financially it is not up to the demands of the project. The government concluded that INA is a national company which must get the concession.

The INA management, with three Croatian and three Hungarian members, voted on the decision on whether to sign a contract with the government. Three Croatian members – Ivan Krešić, Niko Dalić and Davor Mayer, voted for the contract. However, soon it was announced that the American-Austrian consortium has withdrawn from the Adriatic project. At that moment, MOL realized that it now has a good excuse for INA to leave the project, especially after Exxon Mobil decided to withdraw as well. Exxon initially planned to apply in consortium with Russia’s Rosneft, but Rosneft declined due to problems in Ukraine.

A few days ago, when it became known that Marathon and OMV are leaving the project, MOL announced that they are “analyzing the contract offered by the Agency for Hydrocarbons, as well as the new circumstances”. ENI and Medoil Gas will continue with the activities in the field in the central Adriatic Sea, primarily because it is located near the existing gas fields where the Italians are already present.


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