Developments in hydrocarbon research intensify: Drilling in Ioannina, rig in Prinos


In addition to Ioannina, Prinos and the offshore area of ​​Crete, the program also includes a production well in Katakolo

The developments in our country in the research on hydrocarbons are intensifying. The gas exploration map. THE first exploratory drilling after 22 years (in Zitsa of Ioannina) and the first marine platform of oil extraction after 43 years (in Prinos) are on the way to implementation within a few months, alongside the start of seismic surveys in the marine areas west and south-west of Crete, last week by the ship Sanco Swift.

Developments in the field of hydrocarbon research are intensifying after the announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, last April in a meeting at the offices of the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (EDEFYEP) to speed up research. In addition to Ioannina, Prinos and the offshore area of ​​Crete, the program also includes a production well in Katakolo, where there is a proven deposit and the continuation of seismic surveys in the Ionian.

In most cases the representatives of the industry state that they are moderately optimistic about the outcome of the investigations, relying on the one hand on the seismic data they have collected in the previous years in the areas in question but also on the “geological analogs” with neighboring countries (Egypt, Albania, Italy) where they have identified or there are encouraging indications of hydrocarbon deposits. However, there will be certainty only after drilling.

With the current data, developments per area of ​​interest are structured as follows:

  • In Prino, where in recent years there has been the only oil exploitation in the Greek area, Energean, which has taken over the exploitation of the deposits, is proceeding with the installation of a new marine platform for the extraction of oil from the “Epsilon” field, with an estimated size of 23 million barrels of oil. This is the first rig installation since the 70s, also in the same area.
  • Energean also has the exploration rights in Ioannina, where if the environmental permits are issued in time, the first exploratory drilling since 2001 will proceed in the summer of 2023 (the previous ones were done in 2000 in Ioannina and Achaia). If the results are positive, production is expected to start in 2025. According to the company, the area (as determined by the seismic surveys that have been completed) is similar to the Delvino area of ​​Albania where a natural gas field has been identified.
  • In marine area 10 (Cyparissia Gulf) and in the Ionian where Helleniq Energy operates, the start of 3D seismic surveys is imminent, the result of which will depend on whether exploratory drilling will follow in 2024.
  • In area 2 of the Ionian, 3D seismic surveys have begun, the result of which will also determine whether exploratory drilling will be carried out in 2024. The exploration rights in the area are owned 75% by Energean and 25% by Helleniq Energy. According to competent sources, the interest in the area in question is wider as it is adjacent to an area of ​​Italy in which Edison had expressed interest, which in the meantime has been acquired by Energean.
  • In Katakolo there are proven reserves (14 million barrels of oil and 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas). The issuance of the environmental permit for the start of exploitation is awaited.
  • Finally, the marine area West and Southwest of Crete is characterized by EDEYEP as “the most promising area for the existence of large natural gas deposits, but at the same time the least mature, where the immediate acquisition of seismic data is imperative”. Seismic surveys began last week with the aim of acquiring 11,000 km of 2D data in the 2022-2023 winter season, the interpretation of which will evolve alongside the survey. The exploratory drilling is scheduled for 2025 and is characterized by a high cost, in the order of 100 million dollars, due to the great sea depth in the area, while the start of production, if an exploitable field is found, is expected in mid-2026. The exploration rights belong to the Consortium ExxonMobil-Helleniq Energy (70-30 %).

You May Also Like

Recommended for you

Immediate Peak