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Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in the Mediterranean Sea

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Oil Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea: Part I

Part of the book series: The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry ((HEC,volume 83))


This chapter presents a review of knowledge on oil and gas exploration and production in the Mediterranean Sea. Oil and gas production and exploration is not so important in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, or the Caspian Sea, but its history goes back to the early twentieth century when hydrocarbon exploration activities started in Greece. In the Aegean Sea, a small number of significant oil discoveries were made in the mid-1970s at Prinos with production continuing to the present day. Today, the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, and the east coast of Italy in the Adriatic Sea, is the location of the majority of oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities. In 2002 it was estimated that there was a reserve of around 50 billion barrels of oil and 8 trillion m3 of gas in the region (about 4% of world reserves) and, in 2005, there were over 350 wells drilled for offshore production in the waters off Italy, Egypt, Greece, Libya, Tunisia, and Spain of which the majority were located along the Northern and Central Adriatic coasts of Italy. In the last decade, there has been serious development of offshore gas fields along the Mediterranean coasts of Israel, Palestine, Cyprus, and Egypt which in the near future will completely change the gas market in this region.

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The research by A.G. Kostianoy was partially supported by the framework of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS budgetary financing (Project N 149-2018-0003).

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Correspondence to Angela Carpenter .

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Kostianoy, A.G., Carpenter, A. (2018). Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in the Mediterranean Sea. In: Carpenter, A., Kostianoy, A. (eds) Oil Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea: Part I. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 83. Springer, Cham.

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