Total Scoops Up License Offshore Bulgaria

Total announced Wednesday the signature with the Bulgarian authorities of the exploration contract concerning the offshore Khan Asparuh license, awarded under the licensing round that opened last January 31. The 5,490-square mile (14,220-square kilometer) block is located approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) offshore in the Black Sea in water depths of between 328 and 6,562 feet (100 and 2,000 meters).

Total has signed an agreement to allow two other European companies to work on the permit, Austria's OMV (30%) and Spain's Repsol (30%), with Total retaining a 40 percent stake.

"Total's international experience in deep-offshore exploration and production was a decisive factor in winning the license," said Marc Blaizot, Total's Senior Vice President, Exploration. "Following French Guiana, Uruguay, Côte d'Ivoire and Mauritania, Total continues to build strategic positions in ultra-deepwater abrupt margin plays. In keeping with Total's new dynamic in exploration, this license marks the first time that this type of highly promising play will be explored outside the Atlantic basins. The three partners are very confident in the potential of this new license, which contains a number of both oil and gas prospects."