Po Valley Energy said it has secured its first offshore exploration permit, AR94PY, in the shallow waters of the Adriatic Sea.

The exploration permit, earlier known as AR168PY, is identified to hold two gas discoveries, Carola and Irma that were drilled and tested by the former operator, ENI.

These discoveries were found to have best estimate Contingent Resources (2C) of 24.8 billion cubic feet (bcf) and a low estimate Contingent Resources (1C) of 22 bcf.

The estimates from the two wells have been independently audited by Fugro Robertson in April and final recovery estimates will be formalized following development plan.

Po Valley managing director Giovanni Catalano said the company’s first offshore exploration permit, is well advanced and enables it to effectively fast track the process towards production from Carola/Irma.

"Po Valley will proceed immediately with the development planning and economic optimization necessary to support an application for a production concession licence," Catalano added.

The company now plans to acquire the earlier recorded 3D seismic data on the Carola and Irma structures and will start work on the field development program.

The project is also contiguous to the offshore production facility at the adjacent ENI Pandora gas field.