The permit for prospecting and exploration of oil and natural gas in “Block 1-21 Han Asparuh” has been extended by two years after Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov signed today an annex to the contract with the representatives of the exploration companies – Total Energies EP Bulgaria B.V. and OMV Offshore Bulgaria GmbH. The term for prospection shall be extended at the request of the permit holder. The possibility for this is regulated by the provision of article 31, paragraph 4 of the Underground Resources Act.
The decision to extend the exploratory period was taken by the Council of Ministers in February 2022.
Total Energies EP Bulgaria BV and OMV Offshore Bulgaria GmbH motivated their request for extension with a presently identified prospective area that allows for additional testing of the block for potential deposits.
“I am encouraged by your continuing efforts to find a prospective potential for oil and gas extraction in the Bulgarian area in the Black Sea. In terms of energy security, this is particularly important for our country,” Minister Nikolov stressed during the signing ceremony.
For the duration of the two-year permit extension Total Energies EP Bulgaria B.V. and OMV Offshore Bulgaria GmbH shall provide for additional geological and geophysical works of a value of EUR 900 thousand. They will support initiatives in the field of health, safety and environmental protection amounting to EUR 355 thousand. The planned training of Bulgarian experts cost EUR 200 thousand. Total investment for this period is EUR 1. 455 million.
Area “Block 1-21 Han Asparuh” is located in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Black Sea. The contract for prospecting and exploration of the area is in force as of September 2012 to January 2020 and has so far been extended twice by two years.