OMV has been awarded a new exploration license for block "Varna-Deep Sea" in the Bulgarian sector of the western Black Sea. The block covers an area of 13,100 square kilometers and is situated mainly on the continental slope and apron of the Bulgarian sector of the Western Black Sea basin. Reprocessing of 1,500 km 2-D seismic, and the acquisition of 2,000 km of new 2-D seismic data should be completed by 2005. The water depths in the block range from 150 meters to 2,000 meters. Related agreements are being negotiated with the Bulgarian government. An investment of about US $2.5 million is planned for the three-year exploration phase. OMV will begin its exploration activities at the beginning of 2003, and prospecting and exploration activities should be completed by 2005. The drilling of one exploratory well is expected in 2006.
Helmut Langanger, member of the OMV Executive Board with responsibility for Exploration and Production (E&P), commented: "This license will allow OMV to expand its exploration activities to the Black Sea region and is in line with our strategy to double our daily oil and gas production to 160,000 boe/d by 2008." With the award of this new exploration license OMV adds another area to its worldwide E&P portfolio.
OMV holds 100% of the license for this block and is operator.