French oil major Total is gearing up for exploration drilling operations in the Khan Asparuh licence in the Black Sea, offshore Bulgaria.
The country’s Ministry of Energy said on Tuesday that the drillship Noble Globetrotter II was presented in Burgas, Bulgaria on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
Namely, Noble Corp’s 2013-built Globetrotter Class drillship, Noble Globetrotter II, will carry out the first exploratory drilling in the Khan Asparuh block in the Black Sea.
The event was attended by Bulgaria’s Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, and Total’s General Manager for Bulgaria, Xavier Fozhras.
According to the Ministry of Energy, Total will now drill the first well Polshkov-1 located about 128 kilometres offshore Bulgaria, and the exploration campaign will last for the next four months. The drillship will head towards its location in the Black Sea on Friday, April 22.
To remind, the French company and the Bulgarian authorities signed the exploration contract for the offshore Khan Asparuh license in August 2012. The 14,220-sq. km block is situated 80 kilometres offshore in the Black Sea in water depths between 100 and 2,000 meters.
According to Reuters’ report from December 2014, following the fall in global oil price, the company’s drilling campaign in the Black Sea, initially scheduled for 2015, was postponed for 2016.
Total is the operator of the block with 40% interest and its partners are Austria’s OMV with 30%, and Spain’s Repsol with 30% stake.
Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Total seeking further details about the company’s drilling plans in the Black Sea as well as its contract for the 2013-built drillship.
Drilling starts in May
In an e-mailed response to Offshore Energy Today, Total’s Bulgarian office confirmed that Noble Corp’s drillship would work for Total in the Black Sea on the first exploration well campaign on the Khan Asparuh Block, and that the drilling was planned to start in the beginning of May.
The spokesperson also said: “This drilling will bring additional information to calibrate the models of geologists and verify the presence of hydrocarbons in the block following the seismic data acquisition completed early 2014 and its interpretation.”
The article has been updated with Total’s confirmation.
Offshore Energy Today Staff