– Romania’s top oil and gas group OMV Petrom [BSE:SNP] said on Tuesday that it has signed a contract to acquire a stake in the Han Asparuh exploration licence in Bulgaria.
OMV Petrom will acquire the participation held by OMV Offshore Bulgaria in the Han Asparuh exploration licence in Bulgaria by acquiring all its shares from OMV Exploration & Production, it said in a press release.
Closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent and is expected by mid-2020.
OMV Offshore Bulgaria currently holds a 30% working interest in the deepwater offshore Han Asparuh exploration block located in the western part of the Black Sea within a joint venture led by Total as operator.
The first exploration well, Polshkov-1, was drilled by the current joint venture in 2016 and was followed by the drilling of two further exploration wells in 2017 and 2018. Geological and geophysical studies will be performed with the aim to identify additional exploration drilling targets, the company said.
“This acquisition is in line with our strategy to increase our regional presence and is a natural addition, taking into account our portfolio in the Black Sea. We have a history of more than 40 years in the Romanian Black Sea shallow water and starting 2008 we have been exploring, together with ExxonMobil, the deepwater potential as well,” OMV Petrom executive board member responsible for upstream, Peter Zeilinger, commented in the press release.
In 2012 the Bulgarian government awarded the Han Asparuh exploration block to the consortium of OMV (30%), Total (40%) and Repsol (30%).
The block, positioned next to the Romanian block Neptun Deep, has an area of 14,220 square km and water depths over 2,000 m.
OMV Group owns a 51.01% stake in OMV Petrom; the Romanian state, via the energy ministry owns 20.64% and 28.35% is in free float on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
Shares of OMV Petrom traded flat at 0.4425 lei ($0.1/ 0.09 euro) as at 1406 CET on Tuesday on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.