Developments in the field of hydrocarbon research are being accelerated by the companies that have been granted “plots” in western Greece and the maritime areas of Crete.

The completion of seismic surveys in the “Ionio” and “Block 10” (Gulf of Cypriot) areas last week marks the closure of this phase of work as 2D or 3D data has been invited from all areas granted for hydrocarbon surveys.

The only pending issue is the possibility of carrying out 3D surveys in the marine areas of Crete (the 2D surveys were completed in January), which will be decided by Helleniq Energy in collaboration with ExxonMobil, which is the manager of the research Consortium. In any case, all areas move to the data interpretation phase or, in cases where the processes have progressed further, to the exploratory drilling stage.

The next milestone in hydrocarbon research in our country is the approval of the environmental study for the execution of the (first after decades) exploratory drilling in the Ioannina region by Energean. The study has been submitted to the Department of Environmental Licensing of the Ministry of Interior and if it is approved without major modifications, it could lead to the start of drilling (it is an investment of the order of 40 million Euros) in 2024, as long as there are no legal appeals that would cause a delay in the process .

Company sources told APE that an extension of the research period should also be ensured to cover the case where a second confirmatory drilling is needed, which also requires environmental licensing.

In “block 2”, west of Corfu where Energean’s Joint Venture with Helleniq Energy operates, the 3D seismic survey was completed in November 2022 and in a few weeks (September – October) the interpretation of the data will be completed in order to decide on the execution or non-exploratory drilling.

Last week, the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (EDEYEP) announced the successful completion of the seismic surveys (2D and 3D) conducted by Helleniq Energy in the Ionian and Block 10 marine areas, “a fact that allows the lessee company to enter directly into the phase of interpretation and evaluation of the geophysical data available”.

And in the most promising marine areas west and south-west of Crete, as Helleniq Energy has officially announced, data processing and interpretation is underway with the aim of making decisions by the end of 2024.