Enel Applies To Explore For Oil And Gas In Greece
Enel has expressed interest in three onshore areas in the western part of the country, Greece's energy ministry said, adding it would duly decide on the Italian company's application.
If permission is granted, Athens will give other oil firms at least 90 days time to submit rival offers for the same areas.
"Enel Group's decision ... is a vote of confidence in our great national effort to exploit our mineral wealth," Energy Minister Yannis Maniatis said in a statement.
Athens imports almost all its oil and natural gas and spent 15.6 billion euros ($21.5 billion) on fuel imports last year, about 8.6 percent of its gross domestic product.
Greece is separately about to sign exploration concessions for two other western areas with Energean Oil & Gas, the country's only oil producer in which U.S. hedge fund Third Point LLC holds a 44.5 percent stake.
Athens also plans to invite international investors later this year to conduct offshore test drills in its western and southern waters following the completion of seismic tests there.
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; editing by Jane Baird)
($1 = 0.7244 Euros)