By Edwig Ban
OMV Petrom, the largest Romanian energy company, started new offshore drilling campaign in the shallow waters of the Istria block in the Black Sea. Two new wells will be drilled by the end of the year, requiring investments of over 30 million euro.
“We are committed to Romania and we invest significant amounts to secure Romania’s energy supply. The Istria block in the shallow waters of the Black Sea has a history of over 30 years of oil and gas production. Although fields are mature and reached their plateau production years ago, sustained investment and adequate engineering solutions enable us to unlock additional resources and to mitigate production decline”, said Peter Zeilinger, member of OMV Petrom’s Executive Board responsible for Upstream.
The two wells will be drilled at over 2,000 meters below the seabed, in water depths of approximately 50 meters. They target additional production from the Lebada East field (oil and associated gas), discovered in 1979.
This offshore drilling campaign comes in continuation of investment projects for offshore production in the shallow waters of the Black Sea: over 350 million euro were invested between 2014 and 2018, including drilling ten new production wells and sidetracks, upgrading the gas compressor system and modernizing production facilities.
Exploration of the Romanian continental shelf from the Black Sea started in 1969 during the communist regime.
The first hydrocarbon discovery was in 1980, and the first production in the Black Sea started in 1987. Currently, OMV Petrom has exploration, development and production operations in the shallow waters (Istria block) and exploration activities in partnership with ExxonMobil in deepwater areas (Neptun Deep).
Oil and gas production in shallow waters (Istria block) currently amounts to approximately 25,000 boe/day. In 2018, it accounted for around 17% of the Group’s domestic production. The 2018 oil and gas production of the Black Sea is the equivalent of the quantity used to heat approximately 1 million households for a year or to fill up the tanks of 3.5 million cars.
The production comes from five producing fields: Lebăda East (discovered in 1979), Lebăda Vest (discovered in 1984), Sinoe (discovered in 1988), Pescăruș (discovered in 1999) and Delta (discovered in 2007). OMV Petrom is the largest energy company in South Eastern Europe with an annual oil and gas production at the group level of 58.3 million boe in 2018.
The Group has a refining capacity of 4.5 million tonnes per year and operates a high efficiency 860 MW power plant. On the retail petroleum distribution market, the Group is present in Romania and its neighboring countries through 792 gas stations at the end of March 2019, under two brands, OMV and Petrom.
OMV Aktiengesellschaft, one of the largest listed industrial companies in Austria, owns 51,011% of OMV Petrom’s shares. The Romanian State, through the Ministry of Energy, owns 20.639% of OMV Petrom’s shares, the Proprietatea Fund holds 9,998%, and 18,352% are traded freely on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
By Edwig Ban