Crisis’ impact on Prinos looked at, Energean up against time

The energy ministry has turned to specialized consulting firm assistance for a detailed analysis on the pandemic’s financial impact on the Prinos offshore oil field in northern Greece, the country’s only producing field at present.

The energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou, handling the matter on behalf of the ministry, is currently holding talks on a daily basis with officials at Energean Oil & Gas, the field’s license holder.

The company wants emergency government support amid the extraordinary market conditions, energypress sources have informed.

The two sides are believed to be closely examining related data to determine the extent of the financial damage, for this project, due to the plunge in international oil prices, prompted by lower demand amid the widespread lockdown.

Energean Oil & Gas has invested 50 million euros between September, 2019 and May to keep production flowing at Prinos, an aging field, sources noted.

Sustainability is becoming a growing challenge at this venture, employing a workforce of approximately 270 employees, market authorities have noted. A cutdown in operating costs is seen as essential.

A cash injection for “Epsilon”, a fresher field in the area also licensed to Energean, could be made as a support for the company. Another option may entail financial support by the Greek State in exchange for a stake in Energean. Alternatively, state guarantees could be offered for a bank loan.

The finance ministry is also expected to become involved in the Prinos rescue effort. Much work lies ahead before any decisions can be reached. These will require European Commission approval.

Energean’s Prinos oil field pressured by price slump

The oil-price plunge in international markets has placed under pressure  Greece’s only producing oil field, Epsilon, an old, high-cost unit operated by Energean Oil & Gas at an estimated 20 dollars per barrel.

Energean has made a considerable, long-running effort to keep Greece’s sole oil field alive through major investment, required to achieve acceptable production levels. However, production at this oil field is unprofitable during times of deflated oil prices, as is the case at present.

Major international credit institutions are nowadays offering far less financial support to oil-producing ventures as a result of negative conditions affecting the upstream sector. Widespread climate-change policies have not helped, while the situation has now been made worse by the ongoing oil-price crisis.

Energean’s Prinos offshore oil field, in Greece’s north, is currently producing smaller amounts after hitting a record level of 4,000 barrels per day in 2018. Last year, production at the oil field fell to 3,300 barrels per day. The current year is expected to be even more challenging, pundits have noted.

Energean is now placing greater emphasis on fully developing its neighboring Epsilon oil field. The company is awaiting the construction of a new platform, a project undertaken by a consortium of Romanian companies, so that production at Epsilon may commence in approximately one year.