London-listed independent Energean is set to wrap up early engineering studies this month on its proposed carbon capture and underground storage (CCUS) project in Greece.

However, the development will not move ahead without significant government support.

UK-based Wood and US services giant Halliburton are currently carrying out pre-front end engineering and design studies on the surface and sub-surface aspects of the Prinos project, work that is expected to be completed by the end of September, stated Energean in an investor presentation.

The scheme is based on converting the operator’s mature Prinos oilfield in the Aegean Sea to a CCUS facility.

While Greece passed legislation in July setting out the framework for CCUS licences, and with Energean having applied for a licence, chief executive Mathios Rigas urged caution when it comes to a ‘bankable project’.

“Today, the economics are not obvious, so I don’t have a business plan… to show it’s worth investing the amount of money that is required,” he said.

Previous reports suggested the development could cost some $500 million.

Rigas pointed out that the project “needs heavy subsidies from government and these will dictate the pace at which the project can move”.

As well as engineering studies, Rigas said Energean has signed a memoranda of understanding “with all the big [carbon] emitters”.

He said Greece’s emissions amount to about 11 million tonnes per annum of industrial carbon dioxide.

“We are mapping CO2 sources, we’re waiting on regulation, we’re waiting on licensing, we’re working on defining the project — but we’re nowhere near investment decisions.

“We will be ready if and when regulators and government decide this is what they want to do,” Rigas added.

The Prinos oilfield is located between the island of Thasos in the northern Aegean Sea and the city of Kavala on the mainland and was once Energean’s core asset before it expanded its portfolio to encompass gas assets in Israel, Egypt and Italy.

Are you missing out on ACCELERATE?
Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from ACCELERATE, the free weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge.