Three month exploration drill for oil and gas in the deep waters of the Black Sea near Burgas begins on 1 April 2019. Shell International Exploration & Development Italy SPA, reported on Tuesday to journalists. The company 50% of which is of Shell, 30 per cent of Australian Woods Energy, and the rest of the Spanish Repsol, which is studying another sea block in our country, but in the northern part of our territorial waters.
The drill is not foreseen in the company’s work program, which concluded a contract with the government in February 2016 to carry out the exploration activities at the Silistar block, later renamed Han Kubrat. The planned investment was 18.6 million euros, the state received a bonus of 4.9 million euros for the permit.
The current well was not foreseen in the work program, but after the three-dimensional surveys of the 6893 sq. Km sea surface at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, it was decided to invest in current activities. “The cost of such a drilling is between $ 50 and $ 150 million, but the exact amount can not be said so far, as additional work may come up in the course of the activities,” explained Jan Deknatel, Director of Research Activities at the Western Black Sea Coast in ” Shell “. Expenditure on the drilling will be shared among the company’s shareholders for the study, according to their share, he added.
Analysis of data – between months and years
Whether there is a field of oil and gas in the field will become clear only after analyzing the data of the drilling, and it takes several months and years, depending on whether the first well is made in the right place and what the samples are, explained Deknatel and Alexander Kayes, head of Shell’s Bulgarian project.
“Even if the borehole proves to be unsuccessful, it does not mean we will not make a second or a third – to evaluate the results,” Deknatel commented. Kayes pointed out that considering experience of worldwide exploration of uncharted terrains Han Kubrat has a chance of discovering hydrocarbons at 1:5. “From 6 to 10 years, may take away the process between exploration and the commencement of exploitation and extraction of raw material from a potential deposit,” he added.
Extraction starts if a 75,000 barrel per day is proven
“It’s like a lottery – you can lose, but you can win a lot,” Deknatel said. In his words, usually for any company to take a final investment decision for extraction and to get back the investments made, research data must ensure that at least 75,000 barrels per day are produced.
“The development of the project and the options for realization of the eventually produced output depends on many circumstances and the results of the drilling,” commented Kamelia Slaveykova, CEO of Shell Bulgaria.
250 people from all over the world will work on the drilling rig
Deknatel explained that a drilling starting April 1 will feature a team of 250 people from all over the world, including many Bulgarian specialists. They will work on the Nobel Globetrotter II drilling rig, which has carried out three drillings at the Khan Asparuh Terminal near Varna, studied by a consortium between French Total, Austrian OMV and Respol. The vessel will comply with all the requirements for the protection of the marine environment, equipped with medical equipment such as a hospital, and in case of incidents there is a satellite connection with a Bulgarian hospital and a helicopter use contract, Kayes said.
Logistics will be from the port of Lesport
For the logistic base of the study, the Varna port of Lesport was chosen, from where the shifts of the researchers, which will alternate for 28 days of work on the ship, as well as materials and equipment for the construction of the well 80 km from the sea shore. It is decided to transport the crew with two auxiliary ships for three hours instead of helicopters, because of fuel economy and reducing air emissions and reducing the noise and threat to birds in the research area. The reason to be preferred to Lesport in front of the nearest port in Burgas is the experience of performing similar activities in the Khan Asparuh block and the better offer, Kayes explained.
At a depth of 1300 m under water and 2500 m below the bottom
After the completion of the sampling at a depth of 1,300 meters under water and 2500 meters below the seabed and exploration drill data, the well will be closed and secured, he added.
How the project will continue depends on the analysis of the drilling results data. They will also decide on possible new investments in other wells, how much they will be and where they will be located, Deknatel said.
In his words, it is not yet planned to involve new partners in the project. Woodside, Australia’s largest exploration and mining company, is relying on new research technologies, and Repsol is expected to be useful not only with its extensive industry expertise, but also with its involvement in the second terrain for exploration in the Bulgarian northern Black Sea waters, where the activities are at a more advanced stage, said Deknatel.