This is a serious step to ensure diversification of energy sources for Bulgarian consumers, said Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova
At the proposal of the Ministry of Energy, the Council of Ministers today adopted a decision on the launch of competitions for natural gas and oil exploration and prospecting in two areas located in the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone of the Black Sea in Bulgaria, Silistar Block 1-14 and Teres Block 1-22. Potential investors will obtain permission for a period of five years. An annual fee in the aggregate of BGN 275,720 shall be payable for Silistar Block 1-14, which has an area of 6893 square km, as it was laid down in terms of the competition. The amount due for Teres Block 1-22 with an area of 4032 square km. is of BGN 161,280 per year.
Today's decision by the Government to study deeper in Black Sea is in compliance with government’s policy to ensure diversification of energy sources. Within the period 2002 – 2007, Vintage Petroleum International Inc. carried out limited studies of both areas in accordance with the then issued permit. In 2013, another attempt to grant authorization for prospecting and exploration Silistar Block 1-14 and Teres Block 1-22 was made, but no tenders by potential investors were submitted and the tender procedure was suspended.
Ensuring the energy independence of the country is one of the most important priorities of the government’s programme in the energy sector. This independence could be achieved primarily through exploration and prospecting of own natural gas and oil deposits.
The competitions opened today are another step towards ensuring the diversification of sources of natural gas to Bulgarian consumers, said the Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova. In her words, the exploration and prospecting of own sources and the accelerated construction of gas interconnections with neighboring countries will reduce Bulgaria's dependence on imported energy sources.