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ExxonMobil, OMV Petrom Strike Gas Offshore Romania

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ExxonMobil’s affiliate EMEPRL Corporation and OMV Petrom SA, the 51% subsidiary of OMV Aktiengesellschaft, today confirmed a potentially significant gas discovery in the Black Sea offshore Romania.

Operated by ExxonMobil, the Domino-1 well is the first deep water exploration well offshore Romania and has a total depth of more than 3,000 meters below sea level. The Domino-1 well is located in the Neptun Block, 170 kilometers offshore in water approximately 930 meters deep.

The exploration well encountered 70.7 meters of net gas pay, resulting in a preliminary estimate for the accumulation ranging from 1.5 to 3 trillion cubic feet (42 to 84 billion cubic meters). Drilling operations started at year-end 2011 and are in the process to be finalized. ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom plan new 3D seismic acquisition during 2012. The evaluation of the Domino-1 well results and the new seismic will determine next steps.

Petrom’s report says that it is too early in the data evaluation and exploration process to determine whether the Neptun block will ultimately prove to be commercially developable or not. However, should further work confirm the technical and commercial feasibility of deep water gas production from the Neptun block, further investment during both the exploration and development phases could reach several billion USD with the potential for first production towards the end of the decade at the earliest.

The drilling of Romania’s first deepwater well began last month. The well is being drilled by the world-class, sixth generation drillship, Deepwater Champion, which recently transited to Romanian waters after completing its drilling program offshore Turkey.

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ExxonMobil, Petrom Strike Gas in Black Sea

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ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania and OMV Petrom, said on Friday 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 two companies said in a statement.

The Domino-1 well is located in the Neptun Block, 170 kilometers offshore in water about 1000 meters deep.

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.

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Domino-1: Romania’s First Deepwater Exploration Well

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ExxonMobil’s Romanian subsidiary together with Petrom has started exploration drilling on Domino-1, the first deepwater exploration well in the Romanian sector of the Black Sea​.

The Domino-1 well is located in the Neptun Block, 170 kilometers offshore in water about 1,000 meters deep and will be drilled using state-of-the-art industry technology. The well is being drilled by the world-class, sixth generation drillship, Deepwater Champion, which recently transited to Romanian waters after completing its drilling program offshore Turkey. Drilling operations are expected to take about 90 days.

The drillship is owned by the world’s largest drilling contractor, Transocean.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Petrom in this project – a collaboration built upon ExxonMobil’s experience as a leader in deepwater exploration and Petrom’s vast experience in Romania. We highly value the efforts of the Romanian authorities for supporting the progress of the deepwater Black Sea exploration program,” said Ian A. Fischer, Managing Director of EEPRL.

Exploration drilling, especially in such frontier, unexplored areas as the deepwater Black Sea, may or may not result in a discovery. If commercial discoveries are made, the development of the Neptun Block would yield significant positive industrial, social and economic benefits for Romania.

“Together with our partner ExxonMobil, we are developing a unique project for Romania. Deepwater exploration carries high investment risks and requires investments of several hundred million U.S. dollars, yet a potential success would fundamentally change the perspective of the Romanian energy sector,” said Johann Pleininger, Petrom’s Executive Board Member responsible for Exploration & Production.

Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 10, 2012; Image: Transocean

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