Gas needs driving deepwater exploration in Black Sea

Offshore staff

EDINBURGH, UK – Up to 10 deepwater exploratory wells could be drilled in the Black Sea by 2018 estimates analyst Wood Mackenzie.

Interest in the region has grown following ExxonMobil/OMV Petrom’s deepwater Domino gas discovery in the Romanian sector.

Chris Meredith, Upstream research analyst for Wood Mackenzie, said: “There’s no doubt that Domino had been transformative for the region, stimulating interest in the Black Sea. While the field has yet to be fully appraised, we forecast that production could come onstream by 2019.

“The size of the discovery is a strong indication of the potential for further significant gas discoveries in the region.

“Deepwater exploration spending by ExxonMobil and Petrom in Romania through to 2015 could reach $1 billion,” he added.

Although there is no existing deepwater infrastructure or supporting service sector in the region, Wood Mackenzie says new players such as ExxonMobil, Total, Shell, OMV Petrom, and Repsol have the expertise, resources, capability, and credibility to surmount these issues.

Graham Freedman, senior European Gas & Power research analyst, said the central/eastern European countries are the likeliest destination for any resultant export schemes. “Increasingly strict European environmental legislation is likely to support new gas-fired power generation at the expense of coal and gas demand is envisaged to rise from the current levels of 55 bcm (1.9 tcf).”


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