Croatia gears up for possible Adriatic oil rush

‘Strong and concrete evidence’ of Adriatic oil fields

(ANSAmed) – ZAGREB, JANUARY 22 – Croatia might have struck gold in the form of significant offshore oil and gas fields, Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak on Wednesday told reporters aboard the Seabird Northern Explorer, a Norwegian survey ship the government hired in September to comb its share of the Adriatic Sea.

Citing ”strong and concrete evidence” such fields are soon to be found somewhere within the 15,000 kilometers surveyed, the minister said at least 20 international oil companies have expressed interest in the concessions to extract the fossil fuels.

”We will have the exact numbers on the extent and location of the fields after another survey cycle”, Vrdoljak said.

The government has yet to decide on the price, extent, and criteria for its concessions offer, which it expects to issue in April, the minister added. ”Croatia appears to be one of the few European countries with far more oil and gas than it needs. We could be a little Norway in ten years’ time”, Vrdoljak enthused.

”It’s still to soon to talk quantity, but the data says the Croatian Adriatic has potential”, said Rune Eng, CEO of Norwegian survey company Spectrum and owner of the the Seabird Northern Explorer.

”The seabed is not very deep down, which means it will be cheaper to set up oil rigs here than in Africa or Brazil”.