Drilling at Bulgaria’s Khan Asparuh Block Delayed Until 2016
Hydrocarbon drilling at Bulgaria’s Khan Asparuh Black Sea block will be delayed by up to a year due to the slump in global oil prices, the international consortium holding the exploration licence has decided.
According to mediapool.bg, the consortium comprising France’s Total, Austria’s OMV and Spain’s Repsol has agreed to alter its budget and the exploration plan for next year, under which drilling should have started in mid-2015.
The consortium cited the “considerable and incessant decline of global oil prices that has occurred over the past few months, affecting the internal budgets of the companies” involved in the project as the reason for the temporary freeze. It has also informed Bulgaria’s Energy Ministry about its decision.
The start of drilling has been postponed until 2016 with the three members of the consortium hoping to commence exploration works at the beginning of the year rather than in mid-2016.
The decision entails suspension of a number of procurement orders for the supply of equipment, food and fuel to the drilling platform.
The consortium, which plans to invest USD 260 M in the project, completed 3D-seismic studies at Khan Asparuh block earlier this year. According to inside sources the studies suggest the block has the potential to deliver reasonable amounts of hydrocarbons, mediapool.bg said.
News of the delay of drilling at Khan Asparuh come less than two weeks after the government announced it would launch tenders for exploration for oil and gas in two areas within Bulgaria’s economic shelf and exclusive economic zone, Silistar Block 1-14 and Teres Block 1-22, as part of plans to decrease the country’s dependence on imports of Russian natural gas.
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