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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/19/2013 -- There are glimmers of hope in the upstream oil and gas segment, with the Ascent-operated Petisovci tight gas scheme capable of improving near-term energy self-sufficiency and slowing the rate of growth in gas imports. However, overall volumes are likely to be relatively modest, with imported Russian gas set to dominate supply for the foreseeable future.
The main trends and developments in Slovenia's oil & gas sector are:
- Independent explorer Ascent Resources has recorded promising results from fracture stimulation at its Petisovci tight gas project in Slovenia. Operations at the Pg-11A well indicate the potential for high gas productivity. First production from Petisovci is expected in 2013. The company has been particularly upbeat about the prospects of the project, with estimates of gas-in-place of as much as 17bn cubic metres (bcm). In February 2012, Ascent reported a 22% increase in P50 gas-in-place (GIP) volumes - to 14.3bcm, which was above the 11.7bcm previously announced for the scheme. The 200sq km Petisovci area straddles the Hungary/Slovenia border and contains three depleted shallow conventional oil and gas fields.
- Gas demand, which fell by 14% in 2011 (according to government data), should have made a partial recovery in 2012 and is expected to reach 1.2bcm by 2017, increasing to 1.5bcm by 2022. Domestic production for 2017-2022 is forecast to come in at around 0.8bcm based on the Petisovci-Lovaszi project, meaning that there will be a greatly reduced import requirement. Further success in proving up reserves and production potential could mean risk to the upside in terms of domestic gas supply.
- Oil consumption is expected to track the underlying GDP trend, with demand keeping pace with economic growth. A lack of supply infrastructure means a more dramatic rise in oil use is unlikely until much later in our 10-year forecast period. The country consumed around 2% less oil in 2012, according to EIA data. There is likely to be a recovery in 2013 consumption, reaching a forecast 54,800b/d. Our projections state that oil consumption will reach 61,500b/d in 2017, before rising to 68,600b/d by 2022, met entirely by imports.
- The oil import bill for 2013 is expected to have come in at US$2.2bn and will be around US$2.2bn in 2017. The BMI OPEC basket oil price assumptions are US$108.00 per barrel (bbl) for 2013, US$96.50/ bbl in 2017 and US$91.55/bbl in 2022. However, given the absence of domestic refining capacity, Slovenia largely imports refined products, so the oil import bill is expected to exceed US$3.00bn later in the forecast period. The gas import bill could fall dramatically from 2013 if development of Petisovci proceeds to plan. Taking into account the likely cost of refined products imports, the total petroleum bill by 2017 could be US$2.6bn.
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