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May 27, 22:39

Exxon and OMV Petrom continue deepwater exploration in the Black Sea by drilling another well

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Romania’s OMV Petrom announced the start of drilling at the Domino-2 well in the deepwater sector of the Neptun Block offshore Romania in the Black Sea.

Data collected during the drilling program will be used to assess the size and commercial viability of the gas field discovered by the Domino-1 exploration well in 2012.

The Domino-1 well resulted in the largest discovery of natural gas in Romania in the last two decades. The preliminary estimates, announced at the beginning of 2012, showed an accumulation ranging from 42 to 84 billion cubic meters of gas, which would cover Romania’s internal consumption of gas for at least four years.

Exxon and OMV Petrom, which hold 50 percent each of the deepwater sector of the Neptun block, continued the evaluation of the gas discovery, over the last two years, by performing 3D seismic prospecting in order to determine exactly how large is the gas deposit.

“If the discovery proves to be commercially viable, ExxonMobil would leverage its global deepwater experience and project execution expertise to ensure safe, environmentally responsible, and timely resource development”, said John Knapp, managing director of ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania.

However, commercial exploitation of this gas deposit should start to the end of this decade, 2018 at the earliest, according to estimates from OMV Petrom.

The Domino-2 well is located approximately 200 kilometers offshore and is being drilled from the Ocean Endeavor rig in a water depth of about 800 meters.

OMV Petrom, which the largest oil&gas company in Romania, announced last week a new oil discovery in the shallow waters of the Black Sea.

OMV Petrom is 51 percent owned by Austrian group OMV, with the Romanian state still holding 20.6 percent of the company and Romanian investment fund Fondul Proprietatea owning a 19 percent stake. Petrom has consolidated sales of EUR 5.47 billion and a net profit of EUR 1.09 billion in 2013. The company is listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of EUR 6.05 billion.

Andrei Chirileasa, andrei@romania-insider.com

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