Greek hydrocarbon sector set for action, OGJ article notes

Greece’s hydrocarbon sector has remained stagnant since the 90s but the discovery of major deposits in the east Mediterranean has reignited the interest of foreign oil companies, Oil & Gas Journal, an influential industry publication, notes in an article focused on the Greek market.

New seismic surveys, three planned drilling ventures, possible hydrocarbon discoveries and renewed licensing models will allow Greece to stage revitalized international tenders offering licences in 2020-2021, Yiannis Basias, the recently appointed chairman of EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, told the publication.

Basias added that exploration and exploitation licenses to be offered will cover 70 percent of Greece’s offshore region south of Crete and the Ionian Sea, up from 7 percent six months ago.

The OGJ article rated Greece as a relatively low-risk country with regards to the geopolitical factor, compared to other countries in the region. The article also notes that lower oil prices have led to lower equipment costs, meaning that some silver lining exists for investors in spite of the oil price drop of the past three or so years.

Special reference is made to the Katakolo offshore block, west of the Peloponnese, being worked on by Energean Oil & Gas, and its geological features. This license is expected to begin producing in 2020.

The OGJ article described the Ionian Sea and offshore Crete areas as largely unexplored but set for develpments as a result of the interest expressed by a consortium comprised of ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), Total and ExxonMobbil. This consortium’s interest prompted an international tender, now in progress. OGJ described the geological features of these areas as promising.

Exploration work in the Ionian Sea and off Crete will be supported by three ports along Greece’s west side, Igoumenitsa, Astakos and Patras, according to EDEY officials.

EDEY expects three drilling efforts to take place by 2020 off Crete and in the Ionian Sea.