Bulgaria to Drill for Oil, Gas in Black Sea near Turkey

Energy | September 20, 2012, Thursday // 13:33|  views

In August, the Bulgarian government approved the issuance of a permit for oil and gas prospecting and exploration at the Khan Asparuh 1-21 Block to Total E&P Bulgaria B.V. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria will announce within a month a public tender for deep-water exploration of oil and natural gas in Black Sea waters, near neighboring Turkey.

The information was reported by the Bulgarian "Trud" (Labor) daily, citing their own sources, speaking off-the-record.

The public procurement procedure is to be approved first by the Council of Ministers and it will be then published in the Official EU Gazette for public discussion.

The Block Teres is the last in the region to be offered to investors for exploration. It lays on 3 500 square meters while possible deposits would be at a depth of nearly 5-6 000 meters. Previous studies have revealed significant deposits of mainly oil and smaller quantities of natural gas, Trud writes, quoting an unnamed source from the Ministry of Economy and Energy.

The exploitation of the deposits, if any are found, is to begin no earlier than five years from now.

Turkey announced Tuesday it had discovered near the said Block Teres large deposits of natural gas, giving Bulgaria hopes that its territorial waters also contain such resources.

Over one year ago, the Ministry of Economy and Energy selected the Bulgarian company Lederbel BG to explore the Block Silistar, which borders Teres, but the contract remains unsealed because the other bidder – Overgaz is appealing the selection before the Court.

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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Tags: Black Sea, turkey, OMV, Repsol, Total, consortium, energy, gas supplies, Independent, Bulgarian government, concession, rights, natural gas exploration, oil, Ministry of Economy and Energy, silistar, Teres, deposits, turkey


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