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    OMV Petrom Buys Bulgarian Upstream Stake


The asset is adjacent to its Romanian exploration block.

by: William Powell

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OMV Petrom Buys Bulgarian Upstream Stake

OMV's Romanian subsidiary OMV Petrom is to buy out the parent company's 30% stake in the Han Asparuh exploration licence in Bulgaria's sector of the Black Sea, it said December 17. The deal is subject to certain conditions precedent and is expected by mid-2020.

French Total is the operator with 40% and Spanish Repsol has 30%. The block is next to the Romanian Neptun Deep Block and has an area of 14,220 km² and water depths over 2,000 metres. OMV Petrom is a partner with US major ExxonMobil in Neptun Deep, but the latter is quitting European upstream projects in order to focus on higher-margin returns.

So far the joint venture has drilled three exploration wells at yearly intervals. Polshkov-1 in 2016 was followed by Rubin 1 and then Melnik 1 in 2018. Geological and geophysical studies will be performed with the aim to identify additional exploration drilling targets, said OMV Petrom.

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy to increase our regional presence and is a natural addition, taking into account our portfolio in the Black Sea. We have a history of more than 40 years in the Romanian Black Sea shallow water and starting 2008 we have been exploring, together with ExxonMobil, the deepwater potential as well,” said OMV Petrom's upstream head Peter Zeilinger.