Helleniq Energy set for 3D surveys at licenses in west

Helleniq Energy, previously named Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), is expected to begin conducting 3D seismic surveys at two offshore licenses, Ionio, in the Ionian Sea, and block 10 in the Gulf of Kyparissia, west of Peloponnese, within the next few days.

A Navtex for both endeavors has already been issued. PGS, commissioned to conduct the seismic surveys, will use its Ramform Hyperion seismic vessel. It will roll out twelve cables covering 8-km distances to scan sea beds for possible natural gas deposits.

The Ramform Hyperion seismic vessel appears to have completed work at the Ionian Sea’s block 2, adjacent to Italian territory in the Adriatic Sea, on behalf of a consortium comprising Energean and Helleniq Energy.

The vessel collected data from an area covering 2,000 square kilometers. Survey work at block 2 commenced in late October.

According to a Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Sources Management Company (HEREMA) schedule, blocks 2 and 10 are expected to be ready for drilling by early 2024. Helleniq Energy conducted 2D surveys at both blocks last February.

 

 

 

Helleniq Energy set for 3D surveys off Greece’s west

Helleniq Energy is preparing to conduct 3D seismic surveys at two licenses, block 10 in the Gulf of Kyparissia, west of the Peloponnese, and the “Ionio” block in the Ionian Sea, within the next few weeks, chief executive Andreas Siamisiis has told analysts during a presentation of the group’s financial results for the nine-month period.

Helleniq Energy, which recently underwent a name change from ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), had previously conducted 2D surveys at these two blocks last February. Its decision to take a step further with 3D surveys at the two licenses suggests a clearer picture of promising targets already identified is needed.

The energy group’s decision to move ahead with its hydroexploration plans reflects the overall determination of the government, HEREMA, the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company, and investors to press ahead with exploration programs to identify potential targets with natural gas reserves.

Elsewhere, Energean is pushing ahead with its survey work at block 2 in the Ionian Sea, adjacent to Italian territory in the Adriatic Sea.

In addition, an ExxonMobil-led consortium involving Helleniq Energy as a junior partner is moving rapidly with survey work at two offshore block licenses west and southwest of Crete.

 

Offshore Crete seismic surveys pave way for drilling in 2025-26

A consortium headed by ExxonMobil plans to begin conducting seismic surveys at licenses south and southwest of Crete this winter, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced yesterday, confirming previous energypress reports.

The timing of the prospective surveys is in line with a schedule announced earlier this year by HEREMA, the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company, which envisaged surveys for the winter of 2022-2023.

The seismic surveys are expected to be followed by higher-definition 3D surveys in 2024. If all goes according to plan, initial drilling at the offshore Cretan blocks could take place in 2025 and 2026, which, if successful, would result in development of hydrocarbon deposits in 2027, leading to production in 2029.

ExxonMobil increased its stake in a consortium holding licenses for two offshore Cretan blocks following a recent decision by France’s TotalEnergies to withdraw from the venture. ExxonMobil acquired TotalEnergies’ share to now hold a 70 percent share in the consortium as the venture’s operator. Helleniq Energy, formerly named ELPE, is the venture’s junior partner.

Older seismic surveys conducted in 2015 by Norway’s PGS for Helleniq Energy – operating, at the time, as ELPE – at the two offshore Cretan blocks south and southwest of the island showed promising signs of a major natural gas deposit.

 

Greece advances its upstream gas exploration program

Following an announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and successful geophysical surveys conducted in early 2022 in the Central and South Ionian, Greece’s national hydrocarbons and energy resources corporation, HEREMA, today announced the next steps in the country’s upstream exploration programme with the acquisition of a 3D seismic survey in the North Ionian Sea (block 2), and 2D seismic surveys West and South/West of Crete.

In April, the Prime Minister announced the country’s accelerated timeframe to explore Greece’s upstream potential, with focus on natural gas and the expansion of HEREMA, which today oversees upstream exploration, greenhouse gas management & sequestration, gas storage, offshore wind and international pipeline projects.

The surveys will take place during the winter months ahead, in order to minimize any environmental impact, and will be conducted in accordance with the best-in-class standards for environmental protection, including:

  • Use of the “soft start” protocol to ensure that marine mammals can temporarily depart from the seismic survey area prior to its commencement.
  • Doubling of marine mammal observers onboard the seismic survey vessel to ensure protection of cetaceans and other marine life within the safety zone.
  • Extension of the safety zone radius around the seismic survey vessel in case of detection of large marine animals.
  • Waiting period 30 minutes before the start and stop of each exploration activity.
  • Passive acoustic monitoring of underwater sounds for the measurement of sea noise levels and the detection of marine mammals.
  • Application of a 1 km exclusion zone around the “Natura” areas as well as fish farms.
  • Airborne monitoring of cetaceans during and after seismic surveys.
  • Full compliance with all applicable regulations and guidelines in accordance with MARPOL VI and ACCOBAMS conventions and JNCC guidelines.

Compliance with the above measures and all relevant procedures shall be ensured by the presence on board the research vessel of independent observers from HEREMA. Furthermore, during the surveys experienced specialized personnel is in constant communication with the involved local and regional port authorities as well as with the commercial and fishing vessels that sail near the survey areas in order to ensure the smooth execution of both the geophysical surveys as well as the daily activities in the specific areas.

Aris Stefatos, CEO of HEREMA, commented “we are very happy to announce this progress in line with the plan we announced with the Prime Minister earlier this year. International investors and partners in both conventional and renewable energies have reacted very positively to that plan. In August we welcomed ExxonMobil as new operator in Crete, and the pace at which we progress is evidence of our excellent cooperation with leading energy companies and service providers, such as ExxonMobil, Helleniq Energy, Energean, and PGS — a leading global seismic acquisition and processing company.”

Rikard Scoufias, Chairman of HEREMA hailed the progress and said “this marks another important milestone in our strategy to monetize Greece’s natural gas resources and our efforts to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable energy mix and strengthening security of supply. Greek natural gas can play an important role — not only for Greece, but also in support of the broader region and Europe’s increasing demand for domestic energy resources at a crucial time for energy security.”

HEREMA Profile

Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management S.A. (HEREMA S.A.), formerly HHRM, is Greece’s independent State-owned company responsible for managing the country’s hydrocarbon resources. Following the appointment in 2020 of new leadership for the company, HEREMA’s strategic remit has been expanded and today encompasses the upstream sector, greenhouse gas management & sequestration, gas storage, international pipeline projects (including the EastMed pipeline, and the recently completed IGB interconnector), and offshore wind.