E&P activities in Croatia: New potentials constantly being considered

Višnja Bijelić's picture
Višnja Bijelić , Director of Exploration & Production Commercial, INA, d.d.
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As global gas demand is predicted to grow by a massive 41% over the next two decades, as reported by Wood Mackenzie, it is a truly dynamic time for the energy market. For more than 60 years INA has been dedicated to exploration and production activities in Croatia and have put into operation around 4,500 exploration and development wells, with a total depth of around 7 million meters.

Keen to learn more about the regions E&P activities, Gastech Insights spoke to Visnja Bijelic, Director of Exploration and Production Commercial at INA, d.d, ahead of the CEE Gas Conference in March.

Gastech Insights: In relation to exploration and production factors, what key technologies have developed and improved activities in the region?

Višnja Bijelić: Exploration success in the region was driven mainly by applications related to 3D seismic acquisitions and maximal value extraction from such data using up to date technologies and analytic tools. Companies have been discovering hydrocarbons in deeper seated reservoirs, some of the more significant findings were in basement reservoir types.

In Croatia, smaller accumulations were found in a near-field type of prospects given the high maturity of Pannonian Basin. Unconventional resources workflows are being applied to address the potential of lower quality reservoirs overlooked in the past.

Gastech Insights: What are the key challenges and opportunities for diversifying the natural gas supply in the CEE region?

Višnja Bijelić: The diversification of energy supply is a key issue to ensure secure energy in the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe region in the future. It is important to provide new sources of natural gas to:

  • Diversify suppliers and supply routes by building new interconnections between neighbouring countries
  • Upgrading existing transportation capacity, increasing storage capacity
  • Ensuring LNG accessibility

Gastech Insights: INA is heavily involved with gas activities in Croatia – can you give us an update on some of your projects?

Višnja Bijelić: Currently, INA has just started promising exploration activities on the Drava 2 Block, mainly targeting gas reservoirs. Besides that, we are constantly investing in gas production increase on existing onshore matured gas fields and in new production, such as in the Međimurje region. Regarding Croatian offshore, INA has been very successful in both exploration and production for decades, with the majority of domestic gas in the last 10 years coming from this area. New potentials are constantly being considered and will be started once all preconditions are met. Preferably that includes the opening of the new tenders for Croatian onshore.

With domestic natural gas production, INA covers around 50% of Croatia's total natural gas demand and therefore is a key player for providing security of supply both for households and industry customers. In the first nine months of 2017, INA has increased gas sales by 5% compared to the same period last year, selling our own production and imported gas. The increase proves that we are indeed very active and recognized by our customers.

Gastech Insights: What can attendees of the CEE Gas Conference expect to take away in March 2018? 

Višnja Bijelić: Last year the CEE Gas Conference was a good opportunity for regional players to meet and hear ideas and news from leaders in CEE gas business. I hope that the high-level participants at the event in March 2018 will again ensure a strategically influential gas conference, while debates on open operative gas topics will confront different opinions and contribute to reaching the best answers.

Share your insights and join the conversation: How do you see Croatia’s gas market developing in 2018? Leave your comment below.

Register for the CEE Gas Conference, 7-8 March, to hear INA, d.d’s President of the Board, Zoltan Aldott, give his keynote address on regional developments. View the full conference programme here.