Exploration work in Greece began in the late 1930s. In the 1960s, the Greek state conducted geologic studies that resulted in the drilling of two exploratory wells targeting the top carbonates and the pre-Triassic evaporite sequence (IGRS-IFP, 1966). In the late 1970s the Prinos oil and gas field was discovered and then in the 1980s more exploration work carried out by the Public Petroleum Corporation of Greece (DEP, DEP-EKY) led to the Katakolon and Epanomi oil and gas discoveries. In 1995 the First Licensing Round was launched with further onshore and offshore exploration work and surveys in four concession areas continuing until 2001. The Open Door tender, in 2012, referred to three blocks in Western Greece, onshore Ioannina, offshore West Patraikos Gulf and Katakolon and attracted several international and domestic operators and partners. Currently, Greece has offshore oil and gas production in the Prinos and South Kavala fields in the Northern Aegean Sea. Three onshore blocks entered in international tender for western Greece in 2014: Arta-Preveza, Aitoloakarnania, NW Peloponnesus.
New geophysical multiclient data allowed the delineation of exploration blocks, along Western Greece offshore from the Ionian Sea to the sea south of Crete. The oil and gas legal framework offers an investment-friendly platform and incorporates current developments and international best practices.
The onshore and offshore leases in Western Greece and the Ionian Sea bring the exploration agenda of the western part of the country to nine leases while two exploitation concessions in Prinos and Katakolon set today the production force for 2017 in Greece.