ZAGREB, Oct 24 (Croatia Sun News) – On Wednesday the INA oil and gas company marked the 20th anniversary of continued production of natural gas in the Adriatic Sea.
“In the last 20 years over 21 billion cubic metres of gas has been extracted by 18 platforms in the northern Adriatic. These figures encourage us to make further progress in the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in Croatia, primarily in the northern Adriatic which offers the potential which I believe we will know how to use,” Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Coric said at a ceremony held on the Ivana A platform, located 36 kilometres from the nearest mainland.
Coric stressed that hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation was being conducted in line with the highest environmental protection and safety standards. “Successful projects like this testify to the importance of strategic and responsible management of resources with a view to developing the economy and increasing the share of domestic production.”
Coric visited the platform in the company of INA CEO Sandor Fasimon and the head of the Agency for Hydrocarbons, Marijan Krpan.
Fasimon said: “The purpose of our oil and gas exploration and production activities is to maximise the existing potential domestically, both offshore and onshore. We have incorporated this into our development plans because 15 years from now we want to be proud of our company and remain a reliable partner to the Croatian economy.”
Krpan said that the Northern Adriatic project was very demanding in terms of technology and concept and that it put Croatia among countries with the know-how for offshore hydrocarbon production.
Coric recalled that INA had begun hydrocarbon exploitation in the northern Adriatic in 1999 and that it was an excellent move. He said that currently 1.1 million cubic metres were extracted daily or about 400 million annually, which is about 15-20 percent of domestic consumption.
“In the last few years we have launched several campaigns for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, all of them onshore. The northern Adriatic offers certain potential and I’m sure we will know how to use it in the future,” the minister said.
Asked about the LNG terminal, Coric said that it was being built and that it would be operational at the end of 2020. He noted that the LNG terminal would help meet Croatian needs for gas and diversify supply routes for Europe.
“The exploitation of hydrocarbons is one way of reducing Croatia’s energy dependence, the other being the construction of alternative infrastructure,” Coric said.