June 19, 2024

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Hydrocarbon year 2025 – next moves for companies in Crete

Hydrocarbon year 2025 – next moves for companies in Crete

Written by Harris Velodopoulos

At the most important stage, the search for hydrocarbons enters, as during the coming period it is expected that the companies that acquired the concessions will make their final decisions on whether they will move to the next step, which is conducting exploratory drilling. At least this appears to be the case from the positions of government officials and company representatives. The year 2025 should be considered a milestone in the research process, after which investment decisions for research in both the area southwest of Crete and in the Ionian region are expected to be finalized.

As the competent Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, Alexandra Suduko, said yesterday, we have recently carried out several seismic surveys and at the moment companies need time to evaluate the data. It is estimated that it will be in a position to make a final investment decision in 2025, and drilling is scheduled to take place in 2026. For her part, Ms. Sodoko confirmed that the government is working to facilitate licensing for concessionaires so that companies can move forward with final investment decisions.

Andreas Siamese, CEO of Helleniq Energy, appeared on the same wavelength and emphasized that we are about 12 to 18 months away from a possible decision on exploratory drilling in our projects. This means that from the point of view of Helleniq Energy, which together with ExxonMobil has acquired concessions in southwestern Crete as well as the Ionian Sea regions, the investment decision has been set for 2025. Exploitation is still a few months away, according to him. In other words, Hellenic's director believes that the drilling rigs could realistically come in 2026, as the Deputy Minister also mentioned.

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The other concessionaire, Energean, has not revealed its intentions regarding timelines, but as Energean's Managing Director and Country Director in Greece, Katerina Sardis, stated, “Natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean could be a key driver of energy supply.” Europe with sustainable, reliable and affordable energy for consumers in the context of the energy transition.” Ms. Sardis concluded by saying: “The Eastern Mediterranean and domestic production can play a catalytic role with regard to natural gas, but our industry, although it has proven that it can To be part of the solution, you need a positive signal from the European Union at the policy level.”

The concessions in Ionian and Crete are as follows: “Plot 2 – North West Corfu” which is leased by the joint venture Energean – Hellenic Energy, “Ionian” which is awarded to Hellenic Energy, “Plot 10 – “Kiparissiakos Gulf”, which It is also exploited by Hellenic Energy and the two offshore areas “West of Crete” and “Southwest of Crete” granted to the ExxonMobil-Hellenic Energy joint venture.

However, the greatest interest is focused on the area located in the south and west of the island of Crete, where there are two blocs: the area of ​​the “southwest Crete” bloc is 19,868 square kilometers, while the area of ​​the “” bloc” and the area of ​​western Crete is 20,058 square kilometres. Seismic surveys of approximately 13,000 km in the area, and based on the preliminary estimates that were announced, a similar geological structure was identified based on the model used to determine the location of the offshore Al-Zour gas field in Egypt. The second phase of preliminary surveys to draw the bottom maps necessary to take The final decision to conduct exploratory drilling: It should be noted that the Crete blocks are not close to any point claimed by Libya and fall within Greek sovereign rights.

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As for the potential volume, according to a previous study by the Southeast European Energy Institute, the Cretan (but also Ionian together) regions are likely to show reserves of 70 to 90 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, quantities capable of covering 15 – 20%. Of European Union consumption, the potential value of Greece’s natural gas reserves, according to the report, exceeds $250 billion. euro.