Croatia could increase its current production of natural gas by more than 20% by 2024, but it does not have the ambition to pursue a more significant hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Coric said in Brussels on Thursday.
The minister, who attended a meeting of EU environmental protection ministers, was commenting on INA’s announcement that it has launched gas production from a new well in the northern Adriatic.
“The Ika B-1R-DIR well has been successfully connected to INA’s existing production system in the northern Adriatic, which ensures the entry of a new 150,000 cubic metres of natural gas a day into Croatia’s gas system. Annual production from the new well will be at a level of almost 55 million cubic metres, which at the moment represents almost 7% of INA’s total offshore and onshore gas production,” INA said in a press release earlier in the day.
“The opening of another well is being planned, with a slightly smaller capacity, but it will raise production by an additional 1.5 percentage points. What is encouraging is that other companies have confirmed the discovery of new wells on land and I believe that by 2024 the current production of natural gas in Croatia will be increased by more than 20%,” said the minister.
He noted that Croatia did not have the ambition to more seriously pursue hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation and that the fields in question were existing fields for which licenses had been previously issued.
“Croatia has opted for renewable energy sources, and gas is perceived and will be perceived for the next 20 years or so as a transitional fuel,” he said.
He noted that in the event of total suspension of gas supply from Russia, Croatia would be able to meet its gas demands with its own production and through the LNG terminal on the island of Krk.