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E&P Activities and Basin Overview of the Western Black Sea (Bulgaria and Romania)


Introduction The Black Sea has been attracting exploration interest for decades, however, without a major success. During the recent years, exploration activity in the region has seen a significant increase in both seismic and drilling carried out by international operators including majors. This study is targeting the Western Black Sea, particularly Romania and Bulgaria. Bulgaria In Bulgaria, a total of 22,970 sq km is currently under license or application. The main operator is OMV that holds the large deep water permit 1–21 Han Asparuh together with partners Total and Repsol. The group completed in 2013 a 3,000 km 2D seismic survey and started a 7,740 sq km 3D seismic acquisition on the block. Drilling of two wells up to 5,000 m below sea level is scheduled for the near future. Petroceltic/Melrose holds the Galata exploration permit that contains Bulgaria's first commercial offshore gas discovery made by the Texaco-led group in 1993. The company continues to develop small gas fields on the Galata-Kaliakra-Kavarna trend. In total, about 35 wells have been drilled to date in the Bulgarian part of the Black Sea, including 27 wildcats, five outpost and two development wells. Romania In Romania, a total of 22,082 sq km is currently under license, held by OMV Petrom, ExxonMobil, Midia Resources (Sterling Resources), Petroceltic/Melrose and Lukoil. The main operators are OMV Petrom and XOM that made a significant gas discovery with Domino 1 in the XIX Neptun East permit in 2012. A 6,180 sq km 3D seismic followed in late 2012. The first appraisal is scheduled for mid-2014. Midia Resources concluded in late 2013 a 3D seismic acquisition on the E X-25 Luceafarul permit and in early 2014 started a 3D seismic survey over the Ana/Doina trend on the XV Midia West block. The company drilled two wells in 2012, the Eugenia 1 gas discovery and Ioana 1 which was P&A with gas shows. The company plans to acquire 3D programs later in 2014 over the large Ioana prospect in the XV Midia permit and over Eugenia 1 on the XIII Pelican permit. Petroceltic/Melrose drilled one well, Cobalcescu South 1RX, which was P&A with gas shows in the E X-28 Est Cobalcescu permit in 2013. The company is planning to drill a well on the block in 2014. Approximately 120 wells have been drilled in the Romanian sector of the Black Sea to date, including about 90 exploration and 30 development/injection wells.