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    OMV Petrom Enters Georgia


Georgia wants to replicate the exploration success of other Black Sea states.

by: Joseph Murphy

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OMV Petrom Enters Georgia

OMV Petrom, the Romanian arm of Austria's OMV, has won a tender to search for oil and gas off Georgia, it said in a London stock filing on June 29.

The company will receive rights to the 5,282-km3 Block II, if it successfully negotiates a production-sharing contract. 

"We continue our plans to expand our upstream activities in the Black Sea region," OMV Petrom's board member responsible for upstream operations, Peter Zeilinger, said in a statement. "This is another milestone, after signing a contract to enter the Han Asparuh exploration licence in offshore Bulgaria. It is a natural continuation of our more than 40 years of experience in the Romanian Black Sea waters.

OMV Petrom agreed in December to acquire a 30% stake in the Total-operated Han Asparuh from OMV in December. The block is next Romania's Neptun Deep block, where OMV Petrom and its partner ExxonMobil are sitting on a 84bn m3 gas discovery.

Georgia today produces only small volumes of oil and gas, all of it onshore. But the government is looking to encourage offshore exploration, in the hope of making similar discoveries to those found off the Black Sea's other littoral states.

The latest tender was launched in January and the deadline for bids was in April. Announcing OMV Petrom's win on June 25, Georgian economy minister Natia Turnava said the company would undertake 2D and 3D seismic surveys at Block II before commencing drilling.