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23.09.2014 18:58
Total to Start Oil, Gas Drilling in Bulgarian Black Sea Block in Second Half of 2015
In order to obtain data about the statistics-poor exploration area, OMV carried out the largest so far 3D seismic research for the entire Black Sea covering an area of 3,800 sq. km

  • Block Han Asparuh situated east off the Bulgarian Black Sea coast
    © Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy

French company Total expects to start drilling for gas and oil in the deep water block Han Asparuh off the Bulgarian Black Sea coast in the second half of 2015. The exact quantities of the supposed hydrocarbons in the block, however, are not yet known and it is yet to become clear whether there is both oil and gas. Walter Kosi, exploration manager at OMV Offshore Bulgaria, and Xavier Faugeras, general manager at Total E&P Bulgaria, revealed the progress of the project during the Second Annual Regional Forum “Natural Gas: Infrastructure, Markets and Services” held today by the Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers in Sofia, Bulgaria. Together with Spain's Repsol, Total and OMV won a bid for the exploration of Han Asparuh block in July 2012.

In order to obtain data about the statistics-poor exploration area, OMV carried out the largest so far 3D seismic research for the entire Black Sea covering an area of 3,800 sq. km.

“The Black Sea is fairly underdeveloped compared to other oil and gas areas such as the Gulf of Mexico. In 2014 in the Black Sea there were just two rigs, seven deep water wells and about 200 in the shelf”, Walter Kosi explained, adding that OMV also used its experience with the successful Domino well in the Romanian block Neptun which is adjacent to Han Asparuh.

OMV has transferred the project to Total for the drilling phase in April 2014.

Nevertheless the drilling is expected to start in the second half of 2015, Xavier Faugeras announced during the forum. Total will have to overcome 2000 metres of water and the drill would be 4000 metres-deep. 

“From the initial start to the potential commercial output it takes any time between 5 to about 10 years for such a project to be developed”, Faugeras stated.

The company has not yet selected the drilling vessel to be used, choosing between a ship and a semi-submersible rig. Total will also have to secure an onshore storage facility big enough to shelter drilling and back-up equipment, pipes and construction materials, as well as two helicopters and two supply vessels.

“In relation to this we are respecting the Bulgarian Public Procurement Act. We have to launch about 30 tenders for these activities”, Faugeras stated, adding that Total will work towards obtaining all permits needed while maintaining a dialogue with all involved parties and the citizens.

“It was not easy but we have received the support of the Bulgarian government”, Xavier Faugeras noted. 

TAGS: Total | OMV | Repsol | Bulgaria | Black Sea | oil | gas | natural gas | exploration | Han Asparuh | Khan Asparuh | seismic research | hydrocarbons | Xavier Faugeras | Walter Kosi 

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