Bulgaria's Deputy PM Clashes with Expert over 'Unfruitful' Black Sea Drilling
Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev has vehemently denied reports that the first drilling at Khan Asparuh offshore block in the Black Sea has shown no evidence of energy deposits.
"If your question is whether I have information - I do. If your second question is whether I will share it - the answer is "no"," the Bulgarian National Radio quotes him as saying at a public discussion.
"The fact the companies are there, working, drilling, despite the huge expenses incurred, shows the situation is optimistic."
At least four or five drillings will be carried out before there is "definitive information" about the oil and gas deposits, Donchev has added, downplaying any reports that have emerged as "speculation" and calling on the companies engaged in exploration to comment first.
Total, OMV and Repsol made the first drilling at Khan Asparuh this spring, with Bulgaria hoping to add own oil and gas sources to its energy mix, ones it could potentially use for its Balkan Gas Hub project.
However, Shteryo Lomov, an University of Mining and Geology, added fuel to the fire by telling the Bulgarian National Television on Monday that "the lack of news [after the first drilling] shows low perspectives. Drilling at these depths is a costly venture, so those who will be investing in the future will probably consider if there is a necessity or potential to invest the funding."
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