The first exploratory drilling after 22 years, at Zitsa, Ioannina, and the first offshore oil rig exploration after 43 years, at Prinos, both in northern Greece, are to be launched within a few months’ time, it was reported on Saturday.
According to the Hellenic Hydrocarbons & Energy Resources Management Company (HEREMA), this will all start alongside last week’s launch of seismic surveys in the marine areas to the west and southwest of Crete by the ship ‘Sanco Swift’.
All this follows the recent announcement of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the successful geophysical surveys conducted in early 2022 in the Central and South Ionian, it was added, and 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 Greek premier had announced the country’s accelerated timeframe to explore Greece’s upstream potential, with focus on natural gas and the expansion of HEREMA, which now oversees upstream exploration, greenhouse gas management and sequestration, gas storage, as well as offshore wind and international pipeline projects, the company said in a press release.
The surveys will take place during the upcoming winter months to minimize any environmental impact, it was noted.
Another region to be soon explored is the sea area off the gulf of Katakolo, northwestern Peloponnese, where there are proven reserves of 14 million barrels of oil, and 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas.