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Exxon Seeks to Award Black Sea Drilling Contract in Romania

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Romanian unit called for bids from companies interested in providing offshore drilling services in the Black Sea under a contract estimated to be worth $250 million to $750 million.

The contract is for the duration of 48 months and includes drilling one to seven wells in the Black Sea, where Exxon is looking for natural gas together with Romania’s biggest oil company OMV Petrom SA, according to a European Union procurement document published today.

Bidders can submit offers until Jan. 7, 2013 for the contract, which will be financed by Exxon from its own funds, according to the document submitted by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited Nassau.

Austria’s OMV AG, the majority-owner of Petrom, said on Feb. 22 that it discovered what may be its biggest gas find in the Black Sea well it is exploring together with a unit of Exxon.

The Domino-1 well, which is operated by the Exxon unit, encountered 70.7 meters of net gas pay, resulting in a preliminary estimate for the accumulation ranging from 1.5 to 3 trillion cubic feet (42 to 84 billion cubic meters), OMV said. Drilling operations started at the end of 2011 and the total depth of the well is estimated to be more than 3,000 meters below sea level.

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