Exploration company Petroceltic International has said it is part of a consortium that has submitted a successful bid for the Patraikos block, off the west coast of Greece

Each of the three companies in the joint venture will hold a one third working interest in the concession.

The companies involved are Petroceltic, Hellenic Petroleum - which will operate the site - and Edison International.

The concession includes a three year initial exploration period, followed by two optional extensions up to a maximum licence term of eight years.

"We are delighted to be the successful bidder for the Patraikos block, which lies in an underexplored offshore area with good regional hydrocarbon potential,'' commented Petroceltic's chief executive Brian O'Cathain.

''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,'' he added.

It is expected that the new concession will be formally awarded later this year after ratification and finalisation of the detailed agreement.