GEO ExPro

Croatia: Third Onshore Bidding Round

Licensing update on Croatia presents an opportunity to enter an underexplored European frontier hydrocarbon province.
This article appeared in Vol. 16, No. 3 - 2019

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Croatia: Third Onshore Bidding Round

© CHA. Croatia’s third onshore bidding round, which opened in February 2019, is focused on the Dinarides belt, which runs parallel to the coast along much of the country. The area is considered an underexplored frontier region, with only nine exploration wells drilled in the four blocks on offer. These recorded oil and gas shows but no discoveries. Around 545 km of 2D seismic is available, but it is sparse, old and of poor quality. Widespread seep occurrences hold out promise of discoveries yet to be made.

The Dinarides are a wide north-west to south-east fold-and-thrust belt stretching from south-western Slovenia to Montenegro along the Adriatic coast. They formed when the European and Adriatic plates collided, causing Meso-Cenozoic carbonate rocks of the Dinaric platform to over-ride the Adriatic Jurassic and Triassic rocks.

A number of petroleum systems have been identified, although drilling has not yet reached the deeper sediments, so there is still much to learn. Source rocks ranging from mid-Triassic through Upper Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous sediments have been found to have kerogen Type 1 and are considered very promising. Potential reservoirs are expected in horizons from Permian siliclastics to Cretaceous limestones and dolomites, while evaporites and clastics of various ages could form seals. However, the rough terrain and structural complexity mean that the geology is poorly understood, and it is thought that modern survey methods such as airborne gravimetry/magnetometry, as well as new seismic, will be able to shed light on the geology. There also appear to be close correlations with the prolific Apennine hydrocarbon province in Italy.

The exploration period consists of a first phase of three years (exit option) for seismic and other surveys to take place, followed by a second phase for further survey work and the first exploration wells to be drilled. Extensions may be available for up to two more years. The round ends on 10 September 2019 and awards are expected to be announced in December.

More Information on Croatia's 2nd Onshore Round

For more information on the previous onshore bidding round in Croatia, see:

Onshore Croatia: Hydrocarbon Opportunities at the Crossroads of Europe
Tatjana Durn and Marijan Krpan; Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency (CHA)
The seven exploration blocks offered in Croatia’s current 2nd Onshore Licence Round, all located in the prolific Pannonian Basin, offer significant hydrocarbon potential.
This article appeared in February, 2019

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