New significant natural gas discovery in Romania’s Black Sea
- Written by Adrian Stoica
Lukoil, PanAtlantic and Romgaz announced in October the discovery of a gas deposit in Romania’s continental shelf in the Black Sea that may exceed 30 billion cubic meters.
According to a report by Romgaz submitted to the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) in October 2015, the works on the exploration well LIRA 1X have been completed, works that have led to the discovery of a major gas deposit, located in the Romanian sector of the Black Sea in the EX 30 Trident block. “According to seismic data, the deposit’s area can reach 39 square kilometres, while reserves, which are to be confirmed by the drilling evaluation, may exceed 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The success registered by LIRA 1X well has led to risk cuts with regard to the future work of geological investigations for several prospection with significant potential in terms of the content of resources located both near the LIRA structure and elsewhere within the block”, the report shows.
Confirmation of reserves expected
The future works programme planned for 2016 includes reprocessing of seismic data and drilling of an exploration/evaluation well in LIRA deposit, in order to confirm the volume of the discovery and to confirm the hydrocarbon potential, according to the document sent to BVB.
Since 2011, the exploration works in this block were carried out by Lukoil Overseas Atash B.V. (which is 100% owned by the public company Lukoil) under the leasing Agreement signed with the Romanian Government. Romgaz’s share in the leasing Agreement is 10%, Lukoil owns 72% and PanAtlantic Petroleum - 18%.
Water depth in the EX 30 Trident block fluctuates from 300 to 1,200 meters. The area of this block is 1,006 square kilometres. LIRA 1X well is located about 170 kilometres (90 miles) offshore, water depth is of approximately 700 meters. The well was drilled to a depth of 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) using the semisubmersible offshore drilling platform ‘Development Driller II’, owned by Transocean. On completion of drilling, the well was put on maintenance, in view of carrying out further operations to evaluate the LIRA deposit. According to the preliminary results of the data analysis obtained during the drilling and to the geophysical investigations, the LIRA 1X well encountered a gas deposit with a thickness of 46 meters.
“For Romgaz, the partnership in exploring the Black Sea blocks represents a new direction for the development of business and of the deposits portfolio. We are a company with over 100 years of experience in onshore works, but we are open to the new challenges of offshore operations and we are glad to have partners with experience in the field,” said Virgil Marius Metea, Director General of Romgaz Medias.
This is the second discovery as importance in the Black Sea after the one announced in 2012 by OMV Petrom and estimated between 42 and 48 billion cubic meters.
Romgaz is the largest natural gas producer and the main supplier in Romania. It is a joint stock company whose majority shareholder is the Romanian State owning a 70% stake. The company is listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and GDRs are transacted on London Stock Exchange. The company has a vast experience in the field of gas exploration and production and a history of more than 100 years that began in 1909. Romgaz undertakes geologic research in order to discover new gas reserves, produces methane by exploiting the reservoirs included in the company portfolio, stores natural gas in the underground deposits, interventions, workover and special operations on wells and technological transport. Starting with 2013, Romgaz extended its scope of work by taking over the Iernut thermoelectric power station, and thus it became also electric power supplier.