Successful completion of the 2nd offshore geophysical survey for natural gas in Greece

The international company for acquisition and processing of marine geophysical data, Shearwater, has completed on behalf of ΗELPE, a second geophysical (seismic) survey in the North Ionian Sea. The programme follows the successful survey conducted in February 2022, in the South Ionian Sea. The objective of the surveys, which is identifying the potential size of Greece’s natural gas resources, comes at a critical time of elevated global energy costs and focus on strategic security of supply. The next step is to process the collected data for analysis and evaluation. The quality and pace of work to complete the next deliverables, is of high priority in order to mature the following investment decisions for the surveyed areas.

Mr. Aristofanis Stefatos, CEO of HHRM – the company responsible for supervising the development of the Hydrocarbon Research and Production sector in Greece – welcomed the completion of the seismic surveys, stating: “I am pleased to see the successful conclusion also of this second round of offshore seismic surveys. We have implemented strict requirements for environmental protection and the protection of sea life, by setting standards that not only meet but surpass established international standards for minimizing intrusion and maximizing the monitoring and protection of marine life. I wish to acknowledge the cooperation we have had with HELPE and Shearwater as a good example of how we can establish successful partnerships with investors and technical experts to deliver two equally important priorities: strengthening the security of our energy supply, while at the same time protecting the natural beauty of our country”.

Mr. Rikard Scoufias, Chairman of HHRM, commented: “I congratulate all the parties involved in concluding also this second round of offshore surveys. They represent important steps towards unlocking Greece’s natural gas resources and mark an important step to further strengthening security of supply and building on the energy-strategic developments that in recent years have made Greece an important energy protagonist in the region and Europe”.

Field of research: Ionian Sea, Ionian Block, area 6. 671 km 2, Administrator: Hellenic Petroleum

Environmental protection measures implemented:

• Use the “gentle start” protocol to ensure that marine mammals can be temporarily removed from the geophysical survey area prior to commencement.

• Doubling of marine mammal observers aboard seismic surveillance to ensure protection of cetaceans and other marine life within the safety zone.

• Doubling the radius of the safety belt up to 1.5 km around the ship that carried out the seismic surveys in case of detection of large marine animals.

• Waiting period 30 minutes before the start and stop of each research activity.

• Passive acoustic monitoring of underwater sounds for the measurement of sea noise levels and the detection of marine mammals.

• Application of a 1 km exclusion zone around the “Natura” areas as well as fish farms.

• Land and air monitoring of cetaceans during and after surveys.

• Environmental monitoring of wildlife sanctuaries, including telemetry monitoring of loggerhead turtles with GPS tracking devices.

• Full compliance with all applicable regulations and guidelines in accordance with MARPOL VI and ACCOBAMS conventions and JNCC guidelines.

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