Croatia: Baranja hydrocarbon exploration

, SEE Energy News

Canadian company Vermillion Energy will start hydrocarbon explorations in Baranja in the municipality of Petlovac. Croatian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development has issued a decision according to which the Vermilion Energy can start exploration for oil and gas in Baranja.

The state has decided that Vermilion Energy is not obliged to carry out the procedure of environmental impact assessment of the project on the exploration well Novo Nevesinje-1. Novo Nevesinje-1 is located within the Drava-04 exploration field for which Vermilion received a concession in June 2016. On the same occasion, the Government issued concessions for three more exploration fields, Sava 8,9 and 10. In August last year, Vermilion Energy received a concession for the Sava 7 exploration field. In total, the Canadian company has been approved to search for oil and gas on 2.35 million hectares in five exploration fields, making it the largest oil and gas explorer in the country. The first exploratory wells in the mentioned fields were drilled last June in the Vukovar-Srijem County at the Ceric and Berak locations.

In June 2016, Croatian Government has signed hydrocarbons exploration and exploitation contracts with two companies (Croatian INA and Canadian Vermillion Energy), but the contract with Nigerian Oando PLC has not been signed yet. In late March 2015, the Government adopted a decision according to which INA was awarded a license for one exploration area (Drava 2), Oando PLC also got license for one area (Drava 3), while Vermillion Zagreb Exploration, a daughter company of Canadian Vermillion Energy, received licenses for four exploration areas (Drava 4 and Sava 8, 9 and 10). The exploration and exploitation licenses are awarded for a maximum of 30 years, with the total exploration period of five years.