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Land (sq kms)
Oil prod (000s b/d)
Gas prod (bcm/yr)
Oil cons (000s b/d)
Gas cons (bcm/yr)
Southern Europe, with 19 countries and territories listed by Globalshift, is generally poorly prospective for oil and gas although Albania and Austria have a few aging fields onshore whilst Croatia, Italy and Spain have both onshore and offshore productive areas.
The Vienna Basin in Austria contains a single large field (Matzen) which came onstream in 1949 but is now in decline. Similarly in Albania a complex thrusted region east of the Adriatic Sea contains the giant Patos Marinze heavy oil field which came onstream in 1939.
A few aging fields lie onshore Spain and Croatia whilst Italy has more significant production along the Appenines and in the Po Valley. Parts of the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas also produce oil and, especially gas, off Spain, Italy and Croatia.
Other countries of Southern Europe may have achieved minor oil and gas production from inter-montane basins of limited extent but are unlikely to hold substantial resources.
Regional Group in Europe
PATOS MARINZE, ALBANIA
Time to clean up an old heavy oilfield
Southern Europe overlies the south edge of the eastwards drifting Eurasian Plate. The southern boundary was the Neo-Tethys Sea, created when the super-continent of Pangea broke up in the Jurassic. Laurasia in the north, including the micro-continent of Iberia, separated from Gondwana and the micro-continent of Apulia.
The region is now dominated by the still active Alpine mountainous fold and thrust belt, uplifted in the Cenozoic Alpine orogeny as a result of the complex collision of, first the Iberian Plate (uplifting the Pyrenees), and then the Apulian Plate, and finally the African Plate, with the Eurasian tectonic plate, whilst the Atlantic was opening on the west.
The Neo-Tethys Sea was completely subducted beneath the northern plates. Sediments of the complex Tethys basin, including subduction-related volcanic island arcs, were thrust northwards forming major faults, uplifts and inter-montane basins. Basement rock now forms the cores of the high mountains.
Shearing led to east-west extension producing deep basins within the the mountain system including the Ebro and Duero foreland basins in Spain, (south of the Pyrenees), the Vienna pull-apart basin in Austria and the Molasse foreland basin in Switzerland (bordered by the external fold-and-thrust belt of the Jura mountains).
Further east the Po Valley and Adriatic basins are underlain by the Apulian continental fragment, bounded by the Apennines in Italy and the Dinaric Alps in the Balkans. Greece is another accreted continental fragment (the Aegean Sea Plate). The Western Mediterranean Sea was created as a complex foreland basin south of the Alpine front.
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