OMV Petrom Awarded Exploration Block in the Black Sea
OMV Petrom SA has won a tender for an offshore exploration block in the Black Sea, pursuant to Georgia’s Open International Tender announced earlier this year. Two offshore blocks covering an area of approximately 8,750 sq. km were offered as part of the round, of which only one block (Block II) has been provisionally awarded to OMV Petrom.
Block II covers an area of 5,282 sq. km and is located on the shelf and within the economic zone of the Georgian offshore Black Sea. Before the commencement of drilling operations, OMV Petrom will carry out 2D and 3D seismic exploration work on the area, the Georgian Ministry said in a social media post. Drilling costs will depend on the exploration results.
OMV Petrom is 51%-owned by OMV AG, with the Government of Romania holding a direct 21% stake, and Romanian state-run investment fund Fondul Proprietatea SA holding an additional 10% stake.
“We continue our plans to expand our upstream activities in the Black Sea region. This is another milestone, after signing a contract to enter the Han Asparuh exploration license in offshore Bulgaria. It is a natural continuation of our more than 40 years of experience in the Romanian Black Sea waters,” said Peter Zeilinger, Executive Board Member of OMV Petrom.
Local onshore gas production in Georgia currently accounts for less than 0.5% of annual consumption, which is approximately 2.5 billion cubic meters (Bcm) per year. Georgia hopes to boost production in the coming years by replicating the successes of gas exploration by other countries in the Black Sea.
The final award of the block would depend on the successful negotiation and finalization of a production-sharing agreement between OMV Petrom and the Government of Georgia.