Black Sea Natural Gas to Make Bulgaria Energy IndependentEnergy | September 2, 2012, Sunday // 12:23| views
The CEO of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, BEH, Mihail Andonov, is optimistic about the country's energy future. Photo by BGNES
The likely discovery of large quantities of natural gas in Block 1-21 Khan Asparuh in Bulgaria's Black Sea continental shelf and exclusive economic zone will lead to the country's gas supply independence.
The statement was made Sunday by the CEO of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, BEH, Mihail Andonov, saying the discovery will force all big players on the global gas market to comply with Bulgarian supplies.
Speaking for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, Andonov forecasted 25-30 years of independence of gas supplies, saying the exploration will start with the signing of the contract and results are to be expected in the next 3-4 years.
He explained that this is a difficult and slow process since the underwater drilling is conducted at depth of 5 000 meters, while the technology is special and very expensive and available only to leading international oil and gas companies.
In October 2011, the Bulgarian cabinet made the decision to launch a public tender for the procedure of issuing a permit for a concession for oil and gas exploration in the Black Sea.
The winning bidder is a consortium uniting French Total, Austrian OMV and Spanish Repsol.
On July 25, the consortium received permission to drill for oil and gas at Block 1-21 Khan Asparuh in Bulgaria's Black Sea continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
The company will conduct exploration works on an area of 14 000 sq m for five years.
The signing of the contract is expected to be accompanied by a transfer of the due concession fee.
On August 22, the government granted a 5-year exploration permit to Black Sea Energy EOOD for Block 1-19 Sveti Atanas.
The exploration block spans 1318 sq km and is located south of the block where British-based Melrose Resources is currently extracting natural gas, covering 10-15% of Bulgaria's domestic needs.
The minimal program proposed by the firm is worth over EUR 14 M.
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