Oil and gas explorer Petroceltic, which bought Edinburgh-based Melrose Resources last year, has won its first concession to explore in Greek waters.
The Dublin-based firm has gained a one third stake in the Patraikos block, off the western shores of Greece.
It has permission for a three year initial exploration period, followed by two optional extensions up to a maximum licence term of eight years. It will initially carry out geological studies of the scarcely explored block.
Chief executive Brian O’Cathain said: “We are delighted to be the successful bidder for the Patraikos block, which lies in an underexplored offshore area with good regional hydrocarbon potential.
“This represents a new country entry for the company in one of our core focus areas where we are actively seeking to expand our exploration portfolio. We look forward to progressing the exploration programme on the block in conjunction with our joint venture partners.”