Croatia: A New Oil Province at the Heart of Europe

Neil Hodgson, Howard Nicholls, Anna Marszalek,
Peter Browning-Stamp and Steve Maddox, Spectrum
Published in Geo ExPro, No. 6, December 2013

Proven hydrocarbon systems, shallow waters and proximity to hungry energy markets: is it time for Croatia to emerge from the shadows of its neighbour on the other side of the Adriatic Sea?


Adriatic-THUMBThe Adriatic is the most prolific hydrocarbon province in the northern Mediterranean, with over 20 biogenic gas fields and a number of thermogenic oil fields in production. Exploration activity in the Adriatic, however, has been heavily skewed in the past between Italy and Croatia, such that whilst the Italian Adriatic is relatively well explored, the eastern Croatian margin remains comparatively untouched. This is about to change as the Croatian authorities are committed to holding a licensing round in Q2 of 2014, ushering in a new wave of exploration offshore Croatia. As an exploration arena, the Adriatic is attractive. There are proven hydrocarbon systems, most of the basin is in less than 200m of water (only deepening in the south to about 1,000m of water), and it is located in Europe, close to significant energy markets. The Northern Adriatic is already endowed with Plio-Pleistocene biogenic gas fields, whilst to the south a number of Mesozoic oil discoveries have been made offshore Italy, demonstrating a working Mesozoic oil system.
However, of late, exploration activities in Italy have slowed due to time-consuming consents and regulatory issues, while activities in Croatia had all but stopped, as the indigenous oil industry was restructured and privatised. The forthcoming Croatian licensing round will, however, rejuvenate activity, and this will be facilitated y Spectrum’s on-going seismic acquisition of more than 12,000 line kilometres of long-offset 2D data and the availability of a re-conditioned well dataset…..

Full article can be downloaded using the link below.
Hodgson, Nicholls, Marszalek, Browning-Stamp, Maddox – Croatia: A New Oil Province at the Heart of Europe