The first oil well in Greece

In the area of ​​"Agia Leousa" in Kleisoura Etoloakarnania, the first oil well was opened in 1963, where oil gushed out for the first time in Greece.

That year the general director of the Institute of Geology and Subsoil K. Zachos reported that since the time of Herodotus, oil had been gushing out in Zakynthos and that, years ago, little and poor quality was gushing out in Thrace. He even confirmed that for the first time good quality oil was found at a depth of 4.000 meters.

The fever of the so-called black gold had also started in Western Greece, but it did not pay off as expected.screenshot 2023 01 29 10 58 00

Initial estimates for black gold

But the hopes for a great deposit were limited when the general manager of Mines No. Tsakonas stated that the quantities of oil found were considered unexploitable, because half a ton of oil was pumped every 3 hours, that is, 4 tons per 24 hours.

These quantities corresponded to 28 barrels per day, at a time when normal operations required 2.500 barrels per twenty-four hours.

Despite the small amount, the experts judged that the quality of the oil was very good, it smelled of methane and was thin.

This kept everyone cautiously optimistic about the sequel. Economic and technical circles came to the conclusion that even if the initial quantity was negligible, it might lead to the discovery of other neighboring deposits, which would probably prove to be large and exploitable.

Further research

British Petroleum's Central Office in London ordered that further investigation be carried out and that the rock be sampled at 7 meters to determine the pressure. If there was no pressure, deep drilling would continue to see if there were any inflow possibilities.

The results of the investigation would depend on the following: Whether to continue drilling at the same depth, whether to seal that well to activate a new one at a more suitable point in the area, or whether to abandon the entire effort due to unprofitable economic costs.

Color photo from 1963 shows British Petroleum (BP) drilling at Kleisoura. Source: Franz Tomamichel, “Griechenland” Rheingauer Verlagsgesellschaft (republished in the group “Aetolia and Acarnania through Time”)

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