AAPG ERC Cyprus 2017

Hydrocarbon exploration in Western Greece, review and potentiality

Ionian Zone in western Greece is a possible hydrocarbon producing area. Oil seeps are abundant in the area and the zone is a continuation of the Albanide tectonic zones with active oil fields. The Ionian Zone is composed of Triassic evaporites and carbonates that are overlain by Jurassic-Cretaceous carbonates and Cretaceous-Tertiary clastics. The units under the evaporites are believed to host the most attractive plays in the area. However, these units have never been reached. Tectonic movements in Miocene to Pliocene times have a serious effect on this lithology and the role of the evaporites in the tectonics is highly underlined. Maturity modeling shows that the units under the evaporites produce hydrocarbons and hence comprehensive studies aiming to target these plays are more than essential. 

One exploration well, drilled in 2001. During drilling at the depth of ~3,900 m in the evaporitic section high pressures were encounted and the well was killed. The well was sidetracked at shallower depth (~2,900 m) but at ~3,600 m, high formation pressures were encountered again, the well was found flowing and finally it was shut, plugged and abandoned.

More studies are important for the Ionian Zone and generally for western Greece, such as the pre-Apulian Zone, which has similar lithology to the Ionian Zone, and the Gavrovo Zone. These studies must trace the deep evaporitic strata and target areas where the evaporites will be fully penetrated (Figure 1).  

Figure 1. General stratigraphy and lithology of Western Greece, Ionian Basin. The evaporites have never been penetrated completely. Hence three lithostratigraphic sequences are possible, flysch and carbonates (left side), clastics (center) and thick evaporties (right side).

Drilling in western Greece should continue, there are some 25 oil and gas fields in Albania, only one discovery has been made so far in western Greece (west Katakolon). This is highly significant as it proves the existence of a viable play and its continuation throughout western Greece. 

About the Speaker

Dr Angelos Mavromatidis, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi, Unites Arab Emirates

Angelos received his Bsc in Geology from the Aristotle University and his PhD in Petroleum Geophysics from the Adelaide University, Australia. Angelos worked as an exploration geologist with Enterprise Oil in Greece and continued his career working as production and exploration geologist in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Angelos is currently is working with ADNOC, in UAE. His main interests include basin and reservoir modelling of deep unexplored and undeveloped gas fields.

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