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Slovakia was populated for thousands of years before outposts of the Roman Empire were established in 2 AD. In the 2nd century the Huns occupied the region, replaced by Avars, then Slavs who created the Principality of Nitra, a key part of their Great Moravian Empire. However, rifts weakened the empire and Magyars invaded around 896, annexing it as part of a new Hungarian kingdom.
Despite invasions by Mongols in 1241, Ottoman wars, and frequent insurrections against the Habsburgs, Slovakia remained part of Hungary until 1918.
Independence was achieved following collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War 1 when Czechoslovakia was formed. In 1939 the Slovaks allied with Germany whilst Czech areas were occupied.
Invaded by the Soviets at the end of the war, a coup in 1948 led to a communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, during the Prague Spring, it was invaded again by the USSR to suppress dissidents but finally became multi-party after the 1989 Velvet Revolution.
In 1993 Czechoslovakia peacefully split and market reforms have turned Slovakia into a developed country. It joined the EU in 2004.
Land-locked Slovakia is two-thirds mountainous with the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of the country and the Danubian Lowland in the southwest and the Eastern Slovak Lowland in the southeast.
The Carpathians include ranges of the Fatra-Tatra Area, Slovak Ore Mountains and Slovak Central Mountains or Beskids. Gerlachovský štít in the Tatra Mountains, at 2,655m, is the highest peak.
Slovakia produces small amounts of oil and gas from several fields in the extreme west of the country in an extension of the Vienna basin of Austria.
Investment in recent years has increased oil output significantly, albeit from very low levels, but Globalshift believes that production is unlikely to expand very much in the future.
Map and National Flag
Land area (sq kms)
Oil prod (000s b/d)
Gas prod (bcm/yr)
Oil cons (000s b/d)
Gas cons (bcm/yr)
Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic. The head of state, with limited power, is the president, elected for a 5-year term.
The head of government is the prime minister, appointed by the president. The legislative body is the 150-member unicameral National Council. Delegates are elected for a 4-year term.
Slovakia joined the EU in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2009.
The Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic (MoEc) is responsible for the energy sector and of the state-owned part of the power industry. Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP), the main natural gas supplier, and Transpetrol, involved in transportation and storage of oil, are mostly state-owned.
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