Orešković would rather continue gas and oil exploration in Slavonia
Even though the Ministry of Economics and Croatian hydrocarbon agency are both keeping quiet on the subject of gas and oil exploration of the Adriatic, according to the article published by Poslovni.hr on January 4, 2016, it seems that the new Croatian PM designate Tihomir Orešković is not exactly a fan of the idea, and the plans of our former government to turn Croatia into little Norway have never been farther from becoming true.
In his recent interview, Tihomir Orešković was very clear out his stance on exploration of the Adriatic “God forbid there should be any sort of an accident, the Adriatic Sea is relatively closed off” he said, adding that he is possibly willing to talk about exploration of natural gas, but only in the mainland.
Since the hydrocarbon exploration was one of the biggest projects during his time as Minister of economics, it really is no wonder Ivan Vrdoljak already met with Orešković. Unofficially, he didn’t have to spend too much time explaining the project to the PM designate since Orešković was very well informed already. And even though he is against any exploration in the Adriatic Sea for which the realization was temporarily postponed for post election times, he is very much in favour of continuing the project in the mainland.
Revitalisation of Slavonia is one of the priorities set by the Canadian Croatian Tim Orešković in his first public addresses. And, coincidentally, one of the largest investors for hydrocarbon research in Slavonia is a Canadian company Vermillion Energy which already has concessions for 4 fields. This Canadian company has shown great interest for oil and natural gas in Croatia and was among the first to contact the Croatian government after it announced that concessions will be given out carbohydrate exploration. Along with Vermillion, new contracts are to be signed with INA and Nigerian company Oando for one field each.
No one is willing to go on record when it comes to the subject of exploration of oil and gas in the Adriatic. Regarding any possible penalties, as stated by the Director of Croatian hydrocarbon agency Barbara Dorić, there’s no legal ground for them since the project is still in its early stage. Investors have accepted to wait for few more months since the contracts they were supposed to sign were for 30 years. It still remains to be seen how the investors will react to this new twist in the plot even though the recent oil price drop is very much in Croatia’s favour.
At the moment, investors are not receiving encouraging messages when it comes to gas a oil exploration in the Adriatic with this newest change in politics, especially since the contracts for 29 fields were supposed to be signed no later than April 2015, so it is to be expected that Orešković will go public with his opinion and decision on this matter soon after he officially forms the government.