Bulgaria, Ministry of Energy said that it has extended by two years the oil and natural gas exploration permit, SEE Energy News
Bulgarian Ministry of Energy said that it has extended by two years the oil and natural gas exploration permit for the 1-21 Khan Asparuh offshore block in the Black Sea. The license was awarded to a consortium of French TotalEnergies and Austrian OMV in 2012.
The statement from the Ministry said that the two companies – Total E&P Bulgaria and OMV Offshore Bulgaria are planning to make total investments of some 1.46 million euros in the next two years. Of that amount, 900,000 euros will be spent on geological and geophysical works, 335,000 euros on health, safety and environmental safeguard measures, and 200,000 euros on training local staff.
The permit was extended at the request of the two companies, which informed of the discovery of a promising area in the block that allows for additional testing for potential deposits.
The license was extended by additional two years in early 2020. In late 2020, Romanian OMV Petrom completed the acquisition of the parent company’s stake in offshore Khan Asparuh block in the Bulgarian Black Sea, thus replacing it as a member of the consortium that operates the license.
In November 2018, Total Exploration & Production Bulgaria announced that it has started drilling of the third exploration well in 1-21 Khan Asparuh offshore block in the Black Sea. Total holds 40 % interest in Bulgarian Khan Asparuh block, while OMV and Repsol hold 30 % each. Last March, Bulgarian Government extended the exploration license for the block by additional two years, during which some 3 million euros would be invested in exploration activities.
Khan Asparuh block has a total area of 14,220 square kilometers and it is located some 80 kilometers from the Bulgarian coast, with water depth between 100 and 2,000 meters. According to the agreement signed with the consortium of French Total, Austrian OMV Group and Spanish Repsol, exploration drillings were supposed to start in 2014, but were postponed due to a decline in crude oil prices. The consortium of three companies obtained 5-year hydrocarbon exploration concession in international tender in 2012, which is valid through August 2017. According to previous estimations, the natural gas reserves in Khan Asparuh block stand at 100 billion cubic meters. The consortium plans to invest over 200 million euros in the project.