Hydrocarbons in Greece
Greece has an old connection with Hydrocarbons. More than 2500 years ago, Herodotus mentions the famous oil seep in Keri Zakynthos that still brings oil to the surface.
However, this connection is not only an old history. Besides the still producing Prinos Oil field and the verified West Katakolo Oil and Gas field, the recent exploration activity has been producing interest in the Hellenic Hydrocarbons sector.
Oil & Gas exploration had started before the 2nd World War and intensified in late 70s to late 90s. A new turn was taken after 2015, the collection of some new data had been completed and new theories were proposed. International oil companies (e.g. TOTAL, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Edison), proceeded in several ventures in Greece and Helpe Upstream became an attractive partner.
Western Greece, both onshore and offshore, seems to have many analogs to the well-established Hydrocarbon provinces of Albania and Italy. In addition, following the recent discoveries in our broader region, blocks around Crete were also permitted in which Total, Exxon and Hellenic Petroleum will be exploring deep water plays.
Greece is still considered an under explored area although more than 70,000 km of 2D and 2,000 km2 of 3D seismic lines have been acquired in addition to about 100 wells that have been drilled. However, recent technology developments allow exploration to move to deeper waters in an economic manner, if there is promising prospectivity.
Greece, apart from being a hydrocarbons-promising area has also a strategic location in the middle of Mediterranean. It is in the crossroads for transporting gas, from the current or future producing fields in the Caspian and the Eastern Mediterranean, to Western Europe. IGB (Gas Interconnector Greece with Bulgaria), Poseidon, TAP and East-Med are in different stages of activity linking Greece and W. Europe with all producing regions in proximity and provide potential leverage for potential developments in the regions of Western Greece and Crete.
Oil & Gas remains a key element of the energy mix though the discussion on climate change continues and the costs for deploying renewable energy have been declining. Natural gas is the transitional fuel, as we move away from coal and trend towards renewables. Electric vehicles are making inroads in selected markets but not yet to on large scale globally. Oil remains the main fuel for all other modes of transportation and petrochemicals with no real alternatives in the foreseeable future.