Offshore block licenses south of Crete held by a consortium comprising Total, ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) could contain natural gas deposits measuring 280 billion cubic meters (10 trillion cubic feet), regional seismic data indicates.
If this amount is confirmed, the deposit south of Crete will be equivalent, in terms of quantity, to that of Israel’s Tamar field or double the Aphrodite field within Cyprus’ EEZ.
The area south of Crete shares similar geological traits to Egypt’s Zohr field, a major regional discovery along with Cyprus’ Aphrodite and Israel’s Leviathan, the data gas shown.
PGS has reprocessed seismic data that was collected through surveys conducted south of Crete as well as in the Ionian Sea, on Greece’s west side, between 2012 and 2013.
Drilling operations still need to be conducted and additional seismic data gathered before any definite conclusions are reached. The overall procedure will require about eight years to complete.
Energean Oil & Gas, Greece’s sole oil producer, has begun 3D seismic survey work at its offshore exploration and production licenses in Montenegro in search of additional hydrocarbon deposits.
Norway’s PGS has been commissioned for the task, whose results are expected in the third quarter of this year. The PGS survey work on behalf of Energean Oil & Gas is expected to be completed within February.
A PGS seismic ship, Ramform Titan, entered Montenegro’s offshore area on Wednesday and anchored about one mile from the coast, near Bar, the country’s main sea port. Its 3D seismic survey work plans to scan offshore areas between Bar and the Montenegrin town Budva.
Energean Oil & Gas took part in a tender in 2014 and acquired licenses measuring a total of 338 square kilometers in two Montenegro offshore areas. The company went on to sign exploration and production licenses for these plots in March, 2017.
Both areas are believed to be promising. An independent industry firm believes they could contain 1.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 144 million barrels of oil.
Montenegro’s plots have drawn major international players. A consortium made up of ENI and Novatek recently completed seismic surveys at four offshore blocks adjacent to those held by Energean Oil & Gas.
A reprocessing initiative taken by EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, for older seismic survey data collected by Norway’s PGS in the Ionian Sea and off Crete, covering a total of 12,500 square kilometers, is expected to produce its first results this month, the hydrocarbon company has announced.
EDEY has signed a data reprocessing agreement with PGS, which will strive to complete the project by June, 2018. Once obtained, the reprocessed data should enable the Greek State to provide more detailed information to prospective hydrocarbon investors and, ultimately, increase the likelihood of successful exploration ventures by oil companies.
More sophisticated equipment, offering clearer pictures of existing data and the aforementioned submarine areas, is being applied in the reprocessing effort.
In addition, EDEY is now conducting preliminary work for 3D seismic surveys covering 2,000 square kilometers in the northern part of the Ionian Sea, southwest of Corfu, while densification of existing 2D data is planned for areas south of Crete and south of the Peloponnese, covering a total of 4,000 square kilometers.
EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, plans to stage new seismic surveys later this year at an area covering 46,000 square meters south of Crete. This offshore area had been scanned in 2013 by PGS from north to south but will now be looked at from east to west.
The hydrocarbon company is also moving to conduct more detailed surveys in areas west of Crete and south of the Peloponnese covering 11,000 square meters, while PGS will apply new techniques to soon reprocess older data gathered from the Ionian Sea in an area covering 26,000 square meters.
The news concerning these three initiatives, highlighting EDEY’s intention to intensify local hydrocarbon sector efforts, is expected to be announced today in specialized international industry media to promote the prospect of new sesismic data sale purchases by international oil companies.
Seismic package preorders could cover the cost of the new PGS services to be offered to EDEY and, depending on the level of investor interest, could also generate revenues for the Greek hydrocarbon company.
If all goes well, a PGS vessel will conduct its survey work over a two-month period in December and January, considered ideal as demand for seismic survey work at this time of the year is low, especially in areas west of Africa, meaning the PGS services should be provided at a lower cost.
Besides the new seismic survey work, proceedings are already underway for a new tender to offer licenses south of Crete as a result of interest expressed by a consortium comprised of ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), US giant ExxonMobil and France’s Total.
According to sources, the related text for the international tender’s announcement has already been delivered to the European Commission for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.