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Exxon, Petrom May Drill New Black Sea Well at End-2013

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and OMV Petrom SA (SNP) plan to drill a second well in the Neptun block, which they are jointly exploring in the Black Sea, as early as the end of this year, said John Knapp, the head of Exxon’s local unit.

The two companies may complete three-dimensional studies by the middle of this year as they seek to deepen the block’s appraisal to evaluate the resources and their commercial value, Knapp said in an interview in Bucharest today.

“If we drill, it will be late this year, depending on the availability of the rigs,” Knapp said. “For a new appraisal of the block, we need to complete the 3D seismic studies and interpret the data and there is also additional drilling that needs to be done.”

Exxon and Petrom started searching for oil and gas in the Romanian portion of the Black Sea and conducted the first drilling operation of the Domino-1 well in the Neptun block at the end of 2011. OMV AG (OMV), Petrom’s majority owner, said last February that the Domino-1 well encountered 70.7 meters of net gas pay that resulted in a preliminary estimate of accumulation ranging from 1.5 to 3 trillion cubic feet (42 to 84 billion cubic meters).

To contact the reporters on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net; James M. Gomez in Prague at jagomez@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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