Greece’s sole oil producer boosts output by 30 percent

Reuters —  Greece’s sole oil producer, Energean Oil & Gas, has stepped up daily production by about 30 percent since early January, it said on Wednesday, as the debt-ridden country seeks to tap into its limited oil reserves.

Plunging crude prices have deterred spending on oil projects around the world but Greece is pushing ahead with investment in the industry in a bid to reduce dependence on oil imports and boost public finances.

Many analysts are now growing more confident that a new-two-year rout in oil prices has ended.

Energean, 45 percent owned by hedge fund Third Point  said it had increased production to more than 4,000 barrels per day from its two oil fields off the northern Greek island of Thassos.

It has finished two of 15 planned drillings as part of a 200 million euro investment in pumping more crude out of the sites.

“Despite tough conditions due to a big fall in international oil prices in the last two years, Energean … continues investing both in production and hydrocarbon exploration,” Chief Executive Mathios Rigas said in a statement.

Energean is expected to submit a plan to develop another oil reserve in western Greece and start drilling in 2017, while it is evaluating seismic data for an onshore block also in the west of the country, an official at the company said.

Energean has been drilling oil in northern Greece since 2008, contributing more that 260 million euros to the state coffers and creating more than 140 direct jobs.