Lukoil and its partners have abandoned work at one of two blocks they acquired under a concession agreement with the Romanian state in 2011, citing insufficient resources, according to a note from Romanian gas company Romgaz.
Romgaz, which has a 10% stake in the project, confirmed that the consortium has discovered resources estimated at 30bn cubic metres of gas at the Trident block, the other Romanian Black Sea offshore block being developed by the same consortium.
The consortium has observed its investments and technological requirements and has informed the relevant authorities about the disappointing results, the note said.
Drilling at the Rapsodia block started in early November 2014. The well reached depths of 4,000m, and cot between $100mn and $150mn. The Rapsodia block is located close to where OMV Petrom and Exxon Mobil reached significant natural gas reserves that are expected to be ready for exploitation around 2019-2020.
Lukoil began 3D seismic surveying at the Rapsodia Est and Trident block in 2012, according to news agency Interfax. Lukoil had earmarked $1.5bn for oil projects in Romania, of which $400mn was to be spent in 2012-2015 for surveying and confirming the reserves.
The consortium signed agreements to explore and develop the two blocks with Romania's National Agency for Mineral Resources in February 2011. The Romanian government ratified the concession agreements in October 2011. After that, Romgaz joined the project. Currently, the following companies hold stakes in the project: Lukoil Overseas – 72%; PanAtlantic (formerly Vanco International) – 18%; and Romgaz – 10%.
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