prospecting and exploration operations started in western and central
Latvia in the late 1950s. During 1958 – 1971, onshore 1-fold
reflection seismic surveys were carried out, 12,000 line km altogether.
Using seismic and deep drilling, several tens of local highs were
discovered. At some of these highs, detailed seismic surveys were
conducted; still, they were not investigated well enough.
small oil deposit (Kuldiga) in the Cambrian sandstone was discovered so
far (1963), as well as several small oil accumulations in the Ordovician
deposits within several local highs where oil flows were encountered;
several oil shows were observed.
1972, oil exploration in Latvia was interrupted, since such oil
accumulations were considered insignificant in the former Soviet Union.
1986, exploration resumed due to the discovery of a new oil deposit in
NW Lithuania not far from the Latvian border. At the same time, it
became possible to use more accurate seismic methods. During 1986 -
1993, following CDP seismic (1,700 line km) and deep drilling, the
structure of earlier discovered oil-prospective local highs was
investigated in greater detail, several new local highs were discovered
in SW Latvia. Still, there were no new oil discoveries.
indications in the onshore coastal area stimulated exploration in the
Baltic Sea, which commenced in 1976.
of the southern Latvian offshore was in the sphere of activities of CO
PETROBALTIC, a group of companies then representing East Germany, Poland
and USSR. In the rest of the Latvian offshore, all exploration
activities were carried out by MINNEFTEPROM (Ministry of Oil Industry of
24,500 km of CDP seismic lines were acquired from 1976 to 1991, covering
practically all the Latvian sector of the Baltic Sea by a 2x2 km seismic
grid. Numerous structures have been identified, but only one of them,
E6-1, was drilled by PETROBALTIC in 1984, discovering an oil
accumulation in the Ordovician deposits. Another offshore well, P6-1,
was drilled by MINNEFTEPROM in 1988. The well was drilled off-structure,
as its main purpose was to test new drilling equipment.
the restoration of the Latvian independence, the Latvian Geological
Department continued offshore operations in 1991-92, carrying out
detailed seismic investigations in the area close to the Swedish and
1993 on, due to insufficient funding, seismic and drilling operations
were interrupted both onshore and offshore, no new data were
obtained since that time, except
2D seismic data (offshore, carred out 2006, about 200 km).
2001, the Latvian state started hydrocarbon