BUSINESS

Major oil reserve of 80-100 mln barrels discovered off Patra coast

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy

A significant oil reserve in the Patraikos Gulf near Patra, on a par with that at Prinos off Thasos island, has been confirmed by a study of seismic surveys conducted by Hellenic Petroleum, which is about to be completed in the coming weeks in London.

This reserve concerns extractable oil quantities of 80-100 million barrels, while the ongoing processing of the high-definition surveys is looking to establish whether the seabed off the western port city is indeed holding Greece’s second major oil reserve, as indicated by geological findings.

It is noted that revenues for the Greek state from every 100-million-barrel reserve are estimated at 300 million euros per year (or about 0.2 percent of gross domestic product) over 25 years.

With the first encouraging results at hand, Hellenic Petroleum has already started making plans for the first drilling, which is very likely to be done in cooperation with a major multinational.

According to Kathimerini sources, unofficially confirmed by Hellenic Petroleum officials, major market players have expressed their interest in the Patraikos Gulf area, such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, Total and Repsol, with the first deal expected within 2017.

The interest of the oil majors is not just in Patraikos either. It stretches to the Ionian Sea –  Hellenic Petroleum is waiting for the Energy Ministry to assess the offers it submitted on its own for Block 1 northwest of Corfu and Block 10 southeast of Zakynthos, and the joint bid with Total and Edison for Block 2 west of Corfu – as well as the areas off the northwestern Peloponnese and Arta-Preveza, where the group anticipates the signing of the concession contracts with the Greek state.

This huge land and underwater area in western Greece shows similar geological characteristics to spots already drilled in Italy and Albania where major reserves have been located. The land areas of Arta-Preveza and Ioannina, conceded to Energean Oil, are considered the most promising as they geologically belong to the Ionian Zone, stretching north to Albania, where considerable oil reserves have been identified and big multinational companies have already started producing.

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