Black Sea: Petrom and Exxon Mobil Found Gas
Romania’s first deepwater well indicates presence of hydrocarbons. The U.S. Exxon Mobil and Petrom, a Romanian subsidiary of Austrian OMV, are searching for natural gas.
ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited (EMEPRL), an affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corporation, together with OMV Petrom, the 51% subsidiary of OMV Aktiengesellschaft, announce that natural gas has been encountered in Domino‐1, the first deepwater exploration well in the Romanian sector of the Black Sea. This is encouraging, but it is too early in the data evaluation and exploration process to speculate on whether it will prove to be commercial or not.
The Domino-1 well is located in the Neptun Block, 170 kilometers offshore in water about 1000 meters deep and is drilled using state-of-the-art industry technology. Drilling operations started at year-end 2011 and are ongoing. The total depth of the well is expected to be more than 3000 metres below sea level.
The Neptun Block covers an area of approximately 9,900 square km in water depths ranging from 50m to 1,700m. OMV Petrom and ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited signed an agreement in November 2008 for ExxonMobil to acquire a 50 percent interest in the deep water portion of the Neptun Block. Since then, the two companies have worked closely together to acquire 3D seismic and evaluate the block’s hydrocarbon exploration potential. In 2009-2010, OMV Petrom and ExxonMobil acquired more than 3,000 square kilometers of 3D seismic data of the Neptun Block, using state of the art technology - the largest seismic program ever undertaken in Romania.
Deepwater Champion was constructed in South Korea and specially designed to facilitate entry into and out of the Black Sea. The vessel is dual derrick capable of a variety of simultaneous operations to improve efficiency. The double-hulled vessel is self-propelled and capable of holding its position in open water with 9 meter (30 feet) waves and 60 knot (70 miles per hour) winds.