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Oil and gas in Europe: Part 4

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Domestic production of hydrocarbons in Greece is expected to drop by 0.6% next year, according to BMI, while consumption is anticipated to increase by 1.3% with the shortfall expected to be in the region of 356 000 boe/d. The Greek government is currently planning to cut taxes for oil and gas exploration firms as it looks to attract more exploration to the country. Also, the official call for bids for the Ionian Sea parcels has been hurriedly pushed through to help investment too.

Looking downstream, BMI has labelled Greece as one of Europe’s preeminent downstream markets. This is because of the reported expertise of Greek refineries and the geographical location of the country as a regional refining hub. Upgrades of Greece’s refineries coincided with the depression in fuel demand, so Greece is now a significant fuels exporter.

For 2015, the crude oil import bill is expected to cost US$ 19.5 billion as it reflects the demand of Greece’s refineries, according to BMI, and there are expected to reach levels of 505 2000 bpd. BMI has said however that the crude oil import cost will be offset by net fuel exports of 230 000 bpd at a value of US$ 9.5 billion. Gas imports are likely to cost US$ 2.5 billion this year for Greece and increase to US$ 2.7 billion by 2017.


Norway’s oil output has been declining for the past 12 years, according to BMI, but it now anticipates a return to production growth due to efforts to increase output in the country. Gas production is anticipated to remain weak due to low European demand. BMI expects oil, condensate and NGL production to increase to 1.87 million bpd from levels of 1.84 million bpd. When it comes to refining, ExxonMobil has voiced plans to install a new residual fuel unit at the Slagen refinery. This unit is reportedly going to increase the production of diesel from heavier gasoil feedstocks.

Looking at gas, production is expected to be lower for 2014 than it was or 2013 with BMI estimating production levels of 106.7 billion m3. Strong interest in Norway’s oil and gas sector in general is anticipated by BMI.


Gas demand in Slovenia fell by 12% in 2012, according to BMI but made a small recovery in 2013 with a growth level of 5%. BMI expects this trend to continue in the country with demand hitting 1 billion m3 by 2017 and 1.2 billion m3 by 2023. Domestic production between 2018 and 2023 in the country is forecast to be at levels of 0.5 billion m3, which will shrink import levels for natural gas into Slovenia.

When it comes to oil consumption, it is expected to keep on track with GDP and keep pace with economic growth. BMI has reported that oil consumption saw four years of negative growth between 2010 and 2014. BMI has also said that a lack of supply infrastructure will mean a more dramatic rise in oil use over the next 10 years in Slovenia. The oil import bill for the country is expected to be US$ 2.4 billion for this year but drop to US$ 2.2 billion in 2018 and remain at that level until 2023.


Spain has a negligible level of domestic oil and gas production with 98% of its demand being met by imports, however BMI does anticipate an uptick in upstream investment in the country. The upstream sector has also legalised hydraulic fracturing which the Spanish government hopes will encourage people to turn to and invest in Spain’s upstream sector.

Imports of crude oil and other liquids are expected to average 1.15 million bpd for this year, equivalent to US$ 44.8 billion of expenditure, according to BMI. Imports of gas in to Spain are expected to account for US$ 17.5 billion of spending this year. In the medium term, BMI anticipate combined imports of liquids and gas to be lower and by 2017 cost US$ 56.5 billion. At the moment, LNG import levels to Spain are being affected by LNG dependence in Japan, however, as nuclear comes back online in the Asian country, BMI expects Spain to slowly get pre 2012 levels back by 2019. 

Adapted from report briefs by Claira Lloyd.

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