Evaluation criteria, which will be applied to bidders in Lithuania's new shale gas exploration tender, will include both the size of contribution and investment plans.
© U. Karaliūnaitės nuotr.

Moreover, as decided by the government on Monday, the winning bidder will be able to pay the contribution after the signing of agreement, instead of immediately after being declared the winner of the tender.

Lithuania would reissue a tender for the exploration of shale gas in the Šilutė-Tauragė field in Western Lithuania and would also issue a respective tender for the Kaltinėnai field in the district of Šilalė, the government said in a press release.

“Previously, the evaluation criteria only included the size of contribution and now they will also include the scale of investment, and this criterion will account for 0.4 percent of the total score. This will guarantee the actual performance of exploration works and generation of added value,” Jonas Satkūnas, director of the Lithuanian Geological Survey, told BNS.

Moreover, the contribution specified in the bid will now have to be paid by the winner within 30 days from the signing of agreement. In line with previous arrangements, that amount had to be paid in 30 days from the announcement of the tender winner.

“Investors were much concerned about the previous arrangement, hence it has been modified. Now they will have to pay after the signing of agreement, which will show to the winner that he will have government’s support and that all legal aspects will be settled before the payment of the contribution,” Satkūnas explained.

In addition, the government has decided that the bids will have to be submitted within 120 days from the issue of the tender and that the bidders will have to specify the method of shale gas production.

According to Satkūnas, the winner would be known in 180 days from the issue of the tender since the authorities would have 60 days to evaluate the bids.

The US energy company Chevron in October 2013 withdrew its bid for a shale gas exploration license in Lithuania, citing changes in the fiscal, legislative and regulatory climate as the reason. It is expected that a new tender will be launched as soon as the government and the parliament approve a new legislative package.

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