It is only a matter of time before investment decisions are made and announced by energy groups to conduct the first exploratory drilling in the five offshore concessions of Crete and the Ionian Sea, in order to prove the existence of natural gas fields worth exploiting.
This is according to Vimas information, according to which ExxonMobil, HELLENIQENERGY and ENERGEAN are in the final stage of completing the seismic surveys they conducted in the five offshore blocks.
Hydrocarbons: Decision year 2024 for exploration for deposits in Crete, Ioannina and Ioannina
In 2025, the first drilling operation in Crete
Informed sources date the arrival of the first drilling platform from the joint venture ExxonMobil – HELLENIQ ENERGY in the “West of Crete” and “Southwest of Crete” blocks, during the year 2025, when the first exploratory drilling in 20 years will be conducted to detect quantities of natural gas.
In February, a full year will be completed since the completion of the ambitious program of the Hellenic Company for the Management of Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources (EDEFEP) with seven consecutive seismic surveys in offshore blocks:
· West and southwest of the island of Crete (ExxonMobil – HELLENIQ ENERGY) two-dimensional (2D) geophysical data acquisition work was carried out
· Block 10 – Cypress Bay (HELLENiQ ENERGY) 2D and 3D geophysical data acquisitions performed
· Ion Block (HELLENiQ ENERGY) carried out 2D and 3D geophysical data acquisition tasks
· Block 2 – NW Corfu (ENERGEAN and HELLENiQ ENERGY) 2D and 3D geophysical data acquisitions performed.
After the geophysical surveys were completed in February 2023, there were no significant new announcements, as at least one year is required to process, analyze and interpret the collected data. However, the progress of the works is being closely monitored by EDEFEP, which has at times expressed moderate optimism about developments.
According to the data published by EDEFEP, in addition to the unprecedented speed of implementation of research programs while applying maximum environmental protection measures, there was also a significant increase in related investments that exceeded by 150% the commitments undertaken by the company. Leasing companies.
Or Exxon Mobil
Undoubtedly, the most important research program concerns the implementation of seismic surveys in western and southwestern Crete.
With a sectoral and progressive commitment to the region, surveys were carried out for more than two months in order to map the maritime territories extending to the Mediterranean line with Libya, as well as in the northern Ionian Sea to the borders of the declared exclusive economic zone with Italy. In fact, the announcement of the investigations was made by the Prime Minister himself, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in November 2022.
The Greek side, respecting international law and following international and transparent procedures, continued investigations in cooperation with the leasing companies (including ExxonMobil, the largest energy company in the world), and was committed to resolving any disputes that might arise through the competent international courts. It sends a clear message to neighboring Libya.
Another pleasant surprise was the fact that this tremendous progress was made just three months after ExxonMobil took over management of Crete's offshore areas, and after French energy giant Total Energy announced, in April 2022, its withdrawal from the country, having made progress. negligible over the past three years.
Five of the seven seismic surveys organized by EDEYEP began in November 2022 and were completed in record time in February 2023 by two special vessels equipped with modern measuring instruments. It was preceded by two in early 2022. In total, the seven surveys collected nearly 13,000 km of geophysical data.
Offshore wind farms
Now it is up to the three energy groups, which are expected to make their binding decisions.
During the waiting period, another important development occurred with the announcement, in October 2023, by EDEFEP of the draft National Program for the Development of the Offshore Wind Energy Sector.
The program has received excellent feedback from the investment community at international public forums such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. Following the example of the most advanced European countries as well as the energy giants in their transformation in the context of the energy transition, the Greek government has entrusted EDEYEP with the responsibility of developing another sector of marine activity, namely offshore wind energy.
The National Offshore Wind Farm Development Program plan includes 25 areas, with a total area of 2,712 square kilometers and a minimum capacity of 12.4 gigawatts. The majority of the proposed offshore areas are suitable for floating offshore wind farm technology.
doctor. Aristophanes Stephanus
While I addressed the Director General of EDEFEP, Dr. Aristophanes Stephanos, invites him to comment on the progress of work in the hydrocarbon research and development programs for offshore wind farms: “The hydrocarbon research and production programme, if of course the optimistic scenarios of available natural gas reserves are confirmed, has dimensions of transformation of the national economy with regional and European extensions. On the other hand, the program represents The national development of offshore wind farms is a new national opportunity, as our country has strong wind potential with decisive characteristics to stabilize the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix. This fact allows the country to emerge as a source of green energy. At the same time, the success of the national program assumes the development of a local supply chain A mission that could multiply Greece's economic benefits by up to 10-fold.
It's only a matter of time before investor decisions on the first hydrocarbon exploration drilling in 20 years are announced. The market climate is positive and the concerted efforts to create a land logistics base (ports of Patras, Chania, Astakou) will not go unnoticed.
Accordingly, with regard to offshore wind farms, it is expected that the national program plan will be approved and the areas that will move to the next stage of studies will be announced. The Ministry of Environment and Energy announcements show clear support and the market is expressing high expectations awaiting announcements on eligible regions and discussions on investment in local supply chain development.
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