Exploration Analysis

Although the hydrocarbon potential of Italy has long been regarded highly by foreign companies, they have long been stymied by legislation which has placed most of the prime prospective acreage under the control of the national oil company (ENI) and its exploration wing AGIP. The situation is changing as the Italian bureaucracy is becoming more responsive to foreign operators.

In Italy there are several onshore and offshore basins that have above-average prospectivity because of the variety of plays and recognized organic-rich, oil-prone, source rocks. These include Po Valley, Venetian and Ragusa basins. Recent exploration in the Southern Apennines has established very sizable reserves of light oil. These will help reduce the oil imports of a country that consumes 1.9 million BOPD while producing only 89,000 BOPD (1994). The discoveries will also provide companies with an alternative to previous exploration plays that traditionally targeted either natural gas or heavy oil. Environmental concerns, coupled with the phasing out of nuclear energy, are causing a resurgence in gas exploration in Italy.

Infrastructure is good, with refineries being strategically located. Access to pipelines, however, is restricted, since most are privately owned. Other services, including drilling equipment, logging, seismic, core analysis, etc., are also readily available.

For more information contact:

Leslie Sears
Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.
500, 736- 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 1H4

Phone: (403) 218-1618
Fax: (403) 262-9135

This summary, part of Petrel Robertson’s 1995 summary of exploration and development opportunities in 31 countries around the world, has not been updated. Some of the information, particularly relating to political and economic issues, is thus out of date. It is included, however, to demonstrate the breadth and depth of Petrel’s work in each of these nations.

Copyright © 2014 Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.