Greece: Major oil reserve discovered in Gulf of Patras

, SEE Energy News

Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) announced that a significant oil reserve in the Gulf of Patras has been confirmed by a study of seismic surveys. The reserves are estimated to be on par with those at Prinos oilfield.

The initial estimate of extractable oil is between 80 and 100 million barrels, while the ongoing processing of the high-definition surveys is looking to establish whether the seabed is indeed holding Greek second largest oil reserve, as indicated by geological findings. ELPE has already started making plans for the first drilling, which is very likely to be done in cooperation with a major multinational oil company. Unofficially, major companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Total and Repsol have already shown interest.

In May 2014, the consortium consisting of Petroceltic, Hellenic Petroleum and Italian Edison (each company held 33.3 % stake) won a tender for hydrocarbons exploration in the Gulf of Patras. However, Petroceltic announced the withdrawal from this consortium last March, as a part of a wider company strategy to transfer assets which do not posses immediate earnings potential as a means of reducing the company’s exposure to exploration related expenses. In December 2015, ELPE and Edison acquired Petroceltic’s stake in the license and now own 50 % each.

At the moment, ELPE is waiting for the Ministry of Energy to assess the offers the company submitted on its own for Block 1 and Block 10 in the Ionian Sea, as well as joint bid with Total and Edison for Block 2. The company is also awaiting the signing of concession contracts with the Greek state for two onshore blocks (Arta-Preveza and Northwestern Peloponesse).