Montenegro starts offshore drilling in search for gas and oil deposits

Zachary Theodore / Unsplash, Ilustracija

The beginning of the first trial digging for oil in the Montenegrin seabed is scheduled for Thursday after the Topaz Driller rigging platform was recently delivered to Montenegro.

The Italian-Russian company Eni-Novatek is expected to start drilling off the Adriatic city of Ulcinj. The exploratory drilling looking for possible oil and gas deposits is expected to last six months. The drilling depth will be 6,525 meters.

The first offshore drilling in Montenegro’s waters is done under a concession contract signed with the government in 2016.

Local environmentalist organizations oppose the drilling, saying that hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation would adversely affect the local community. Ulcinj is a resort town with 15 kilometres of sandy beaches and the drilling has raised concern that it might affect the tourism industry in the area, Croatia’s state agency Hina reported.