Montenegro awarded Greece's sole oil producer Energean Oil
& Gas a 30-year oil and gas exploration licences in two offshore blocks in the Adriatic sea on Wednesday.
The contract for the blocks covering 338 square km was awarded in line with the terms of a 2014 tender.
The Balkan country produces no oil but initial data indicates it could have enough resources to cover its oil and gas needs
Vladan Dubljevic, the head of Montenegro's Hydrocarbons Directorate, told Reuters borehole drilling would begin as soon as the Greek company completed the project design, environmental impact assessment and seismic screening.
Last September, it signed a contract with a consortium of Italy's Eni and Russian No. 2 gas firm Novatek (NVTK.ME)
, awarding it exploration licenses for four blocks covering an area of 1,228 square kilometres.
The need for new energy sources is acute across the Balkans, a region that has lacked investments for nearly two decades due to wars in the 1990s and political turmoil.
(Reporting by Maja Zuvela; editing by Susan Thomas)