Total-led consortium to postpone drilling for gas on Bulgarian sea shelf – reports

A consortium led by French oil firm Total has said that it would delay the start of drilling gas wells on Bulgaria’s Black Sea shelf, reports in Bulgarian media said on December 16.

Falling oil prices on global markets have prompted a review of corporate budgets, mass-circulation daily Trud quoted Total E&P Bulgaria managing director Xavier Faugeras as saying. Faugeras said that Total had no intention of abandoning the project and that the delay would give the consortium more time to evaluate its preliminary geological findings.

Total, alongside Austria’s OMV and Spain’s Repsol, were awarded the exploration licence for the Khan Asparoukh 1-21 block, covering 14 400 sq km, in 2012. Since then, the consortium has focused on exploration activities and had planned to begin drilling in mid-2015, but has now decided to postpone such activities until early 2016.

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