ExxonMobil, OMV Petrom to add Black Sea deepwater rights

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania and OMV Petrom will acquire a 65% interest in the southeastern deepwater extremity of Block 15 Midia in the Black Sea offshore Romania from Sterling Resources Ltd., Calgary.

The sale portion of the Midia block covers 125,000 gross acres 35 km northwest of ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom’s Domino-1 giant gas discovery on the Neptun block. The sale portion of Midia also contains the newly identified Anca and Maria prospects. Domino, 150 km off Constanta, has identified a resource of 1.5 to 3 tcf of gas.

As part of the same sale agreement, Sterling’s partner Petro Ventures Europe BV is selling its 20% interest in the same acreage.

Sterling will receive $29.25 million upon completion, a contingent $29.25 million on satisfaction of certain conditions relating to a hydrocarbon discovery made on the sale portion, and a further contingent payment of $19.5 million upon first commercial production from the sale portion.  Completion is subject to governmental approvals and other conditions.

The sale does not include any of the discoveries or other prospects in the Midia block and will not be affected in any way by the results of the Ioana-1 well currently being drilled (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2012).

The previously announced process for partial divestment of Sterling’s interest in the Luceafarul, Midia, and Pelican blocks shoreward in Romanian waters continues. However, Sterling will not proceed with the possible sale of its interest in Cladhan field in the UK North Sea.

Mike Anzacot, Sterling president and chief executive officer, said, “This carve-out and sale of an area in deeper waters allows us to focus on the development and exploration of fields and prospects in shallower waters, where drilling and construction should be less expensive. This transaction is additional evidence of the rapidly growing industry interest in the Romanian Black Sea as a new hydrocarbon region where Sterling has a material presence.”

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