OMV Petrom and Hunt Oil make large oil and gas discovery in Eastern Romania

Romanian OMV Petrom, the largest oil and gas company in Romania, and Hunt Oil, an American independent oil company, have discovered a new oil and gas field in Buzau county, in the Eastern part of Romania, OMV Petrom announced on Wednesday, December 17.

The field was discovered in the perimeter VIII Urziceni Est, which the two companies have been exploring in the last four years, at a depth of over 2,500 meters. The new field is 7-12 kilometers away from mature fields operated by OMV Petrom in the area.

The estimated production per well in the new field is 1,200 to 2,100 boe (barrels of oil equivalent) per day, according to OMV Petrom. For comparison, OMV Petrom’s average daily production in the first nine months of this year was about 180,000 boe. So only one well in the new field can increase Petrom’s daily production by about 1%.

“This is potentially the largest discovery in the past 30 years in the Muntenia region,” said Gabriel Selischi, member of OMV Petrom’s executive board, responsible for exploration and production.

OMV Petrom and Hunt Oil have invested about EUR 5 million in the exploration activities which led to this discovery. The two companies made a joint venture in 2010 to explore two perimeters in Eastern Romania, Adjud and Urziceni East.

OMV Petrom, whose oil and gas production has been declining in the last 25 years, due to natural factors, has been investing around EUR 1 billion each year, mainly in exploration and production activities. “It is important to continue exploration activities, as 90% of fields we are operating are mature ones and reached their production peak years ago. We currently supply about 40% of Romania’s oil and gas demand,” Selischi said.

OMV Petrom reported an 11% decline in sales in the first nine months of this year, to EUR 3.65 billion, and its net profit was down 34%, to some EUR 540 million.

The last quarter might be even worse for OMV Petrom, as oil prices have declined by about 40% in the last three months.

In the last month, OMV Petrom’s shares, which are trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange with the ticker SNP, have lost more than 10% of their value. The company is currently valued at EUR 4.86 billion.

Andrei Chirileasa, [email protected]