Sofia, February 23, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Royal Dutch Shell signed a contract on February 23 to explore for oil and gas in Bulgaria’s Black Sea economic area, as the government in Sofia hopes to diversify its energy sources and diminish dependence on Russian imports.
Last year, Shell won the tender for the 1-14 Silistar block, which covers about 6900 square km on Bulgaria’s sea shelf. The company committed to invest 18.6 million euro in exploration, as well as a 4.9 million euro bonus, the Energy Ministry said in a statement.
The five-year permit can be extended twice, by two years each time, the ministry said.
“With this contract signed today, we are making the most important step towards the diversification of gas sources for Bulgarian industrial and household consumers,” Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova said.