Exactly one hundred years ago began the history of the oil industry in Slovakia

Bratislava, January 13, 2014 – Although Slovakia does not belong among oil superpowers in terms of volume, the tradition of oil production in our country is a hundred years old. The beginning of the oil industry in Slovakia is considered to be January 13, 1914, when the former Austria-Hungary started industrial production of crude oil for the very first time.
The beginning of production was preceded by the discovery of Ján Medlen, on the basis of which the actual geological exploration and planning of the first well commenced. The drilling of well No. 1 commenced on October 28, 1913 using a mobile Trauzl hand drilling rig. At a depth of 163 to 168 meters a field of precious heavy oil was discovered, and after successful pumping trials, its extraction for industrial use began on January 13, 1914.
Between 1914 and 1918, 56 positive probes were drilled in the deposit of Staré pole in Gbely. Crude oil was scarce during the war, its price increased constantly, and the Austro-Hungarian government kept increasing the extraction. While in 1914 they extracted 1,631 tons of crude oil, in 1927 it was as much as 9,146 tons. Due to successful exploration activities and by increasing the intensity of opening of new deposits during the 1950s, the production climbed up to 60,000 tons of crude oil a year. Since the beginning of the 1950s they also started to utilize natural gas, which was previously considered rather a by-product of oil production.              
Production of hydrocarbons plays an important role in the history of energy industry in Slovakia. Over the past 100 years, fields with a total capacity of more than 25 billion m3 of geological reserves of natural gas, 3.7 million tons of oil, and nearly 0.4 million tons of gasoline have been discovered on our territory. The fields are concentrated mainly around Záhorská Lowland, especially around towns of Malacky and Gbely, and in the Eastern Slovak Lowland. Although the share of production of oil and gas from domestic sources gradually declined after conversion of depleted fields to underground gas storage facilities, Slovakia has made extraordinary achievements in the field of natural gas storage, dating back to 40 years ago.
NAFTA a.s. builds on the lessons learned. „The current production of crude oil and gasoline in Slovakia today is around 10 to 13 thousand tons per year, and gas production is at 90 to 95 millions of m3 with the trend of gradual decline, which is natural in the area with a hundred years of production history,“ says Jozef Levoča, director of the division of exploration and production of NAFTA a.s. „In the area of exploration and production, our aim is to maximize the potential of our production areas with the assistance of the most advanced methods, and also the utilization of the production potential of already opened fields. Using sophisticated technologies, we can extend the life of deposits by 8-10 years,“ adds J. Levoča.
NAFTA a.s. is a modern company with extensive experience in the area of storage and development of underground gas storage facilities in Slovakia, and also the Slovak leader in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. Storage facilities play a key role in ensuring security of gas supply to Slovakia, while being an effective tool for promoting trade on the gas market.
More information about the history of exploration and production of oil and gas in Slovakia can be found at www.nafta.sk or in the form of comprehensive inforgraphic 100 YEARS OF OIL AND GAS IN SLOVAKIA at http://historia.nafta.sk/.
A short film called BRIEF HISTORY OF PRODUCTION AND STORAGE OF HYDROCARBONS IN SLOVAKIA is available at:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6W1RFj7GQk