A drilling rig in the Indian ocean.

Shell searches for oil in Bulgaria


SOFIA, October 2, 2015 – Super-major Shell has announced plans to drill in offshore Bulgaria. The operator has pledged investment of €18.6 million euros ($20.9 million) in the block.


Bulgaria depends on natural gas imports from Russia to meet most of its energy needs. The EU country opened Silistar block 1-14 and Teres block 1-22 for foreign ventures to reduce that dependence. Shell was the only company offer a bid for either. The 7,000-square-kilometre Silistar block lies offshore in the country’s Black Sea territory. Recoverable reserves have been estimated as 84 bcm (2.97 tcf) of gas.

“This is a very serious success for us and one of the most important steps towards diversifying our gas supplies,” Bulgarian energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova said to reporters. France’s Total, along with Austrian upstream company OMV and Spanish producer Repsol, plan to begin exploring Bugaria’s largest offshore block, the Han Asparuh, in the first quarter of 2016.

On Monday, Shell announced it was pulling out of further Arctic exploration in Alaska for the “foreseeable future” after failing to find significant reserves.

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