Intense activity is observed for the execution of the first test drilling for locating natural gas deposits in Greece.

These are test on the land block of Ioannina, which has been granted to Energean and is far more mature compared to the marine “plots”, in which at the beginning of last year the seismic surveys by the specially equipped vessels were completed.

The first drilling

According to information, on March 27 the consultation for the Strategic Environmental Impact Study was completed. The local authorities of Ioannina, the Region, the involved government agencies (e.g. archeological authorities) and other bodies participated.

Sources want the majority of participants to have given an opinion and were in favor of the first test drilling in the mountainous area of Zitsa of the regional unity of Ioannina. And this, as commented by competent sources, is a positive event signaling the positive expectation of the local community for the benefits that the region will reap from the research and exploitation of potential natural gas deposits.

The next step

The next step is now the approval by the Directorate of Environmental Licensing of the Ministry of Environment and Energy. And there it may be necessary to reposition Energean in possible observations made by participants in the public consultation.

The target

According to information, the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company S.A. (HEREMA S.A.) is keeping to the goal of carrying out the first test drilling within 2023.

This was pointed out meaningfully by HEREMA sources despite the fact that the national and regional elections are intervening where, as usual in Greece, the public services put down their pencils… and the local rulers kill any activity regarding the implementation of investments, etc.


According to information, Energean has reportedly requested an extension of the current research program which expires in 2025.

Sources clarify that in no case is the company’s request intended to avoid the first test drilling. Although, based on the experience of its executives, it is very likely that it will be carried out within the first half of 2024. This is because the Greek bureaucracy exists, consecutive electoral contests are in between, and the company itself when and if it receives the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the environmental study, it will have to spatially shape the drilling area and also locate and order the drilling rig.

The request for the extension, which according to information, seems to be shared by HEREMA , has to do with securing the necessary time for possible confirmatory drilling that will be needed. And the time until 2025 may not be enough.

At the same time, the information wants Energean to look for an investor partner in the next drillings in order to reduce costs.

The deposits of the Ionian and Crete

At the same time, and according to information, HEREMA is in close cooperation with the investors who have the concessions in the Ionian Sea and south and southwest of Crete. These are ExxonMobil, Helleniq Energy and Energean.

Investors are waiting for the results of the seismic surveys and HEREMA is in contact with them in order, as the competent supervisory authority, to have a picture of the seismographic data.

The information wants the seismic survey results to be ready by the Norwegian seismographic company PGS towards the end of 2023.

These will be sent to the companies and based on their content will form the basis for making investment decisions regarding the execution of test drilling.

HEREMA, sources say, is closely monitoring the whole process.

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