ATHENS, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Greece’s sole oil producer Energean Oil & Gas will invest $50 million to develop a proven offshore oil and gas field in western Greece, the third field it will exploit in the country, it said on Tuesday.
Energean, 45 percent-owned by hedge fund Third Point , has two oilfields in the Prinos Basin off the northern Greek island of Thassos. It aims to increase its output to 10,000 barrels per day by 2018 from 5,000 barrels per day now, with an ongoing $200 million investment programme.
Energean, said on Tuesday it had agreed with the Energy ministry to turn an exploration licence for a block in a western Greek region, the West Katakolon field, into a 25-year development licence with immediate effect.
The producer will submit its development plan for the field by the end of February. It wants to start drilling in 2018.
“It will be the first ever hydrocarbon production programme in the west of the country and a major boost to the economy following the challenges of the last few years,” Energean Chief Executive Mathios Rigas said in a statement.
Greece is still struggling to emerge from a debt crisis that began in 2010, plunging its economy in recession for years.
Over the last 50 years, it has made several fruitless attempts to find big oil and gas reserves but important findings in neighbouring countries recently have prompted the country to step up those efforts.
The West Katakolon field has about 10 million barrels in recoverable oil, the company said.
Energean has said ongoing exploration activity in the onshore Ioannina field has potential. It has also recently acquired two natural gas fields in Israel. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, editing by David Evans)