Romgaz and GSP Start Trinity Project in the Black Sea

The National Gas Company Romgaz SA and Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) have announced the start of operations within Trinity-1X project, in Trident Block, located in Romania’s Black Sea territorial waters, in early November. The gas resource is estimated at approximately 30bcm, and the two partners, Lukoil and Romgaz (which owns a 12.2% stake in the project) will operate the well, with the help of GSP and Italy’s Saipem.

Trinity-1X well, at a distance of 215km off the coast of Constanta City, is the 3rd exploration well to be drilled in Romania within EX-30 Trident Block, water depth reaching in the exploration area 1,076m and the proposed well depth being 2,975m. Drilling of the exploration well will be followed by the detailed analysis and professional evaluation of the results obtained, and by integrating the new information the new geological model will underlie the future decisions whether to drill new wells or not; depending on data obtained, a final investment decision can be made to move to the field development phase.

“It is a great success from my point of view and we hope it precedes other important achievements in terms of Black Sea exploration. The estimated resource would reach over 30bcm. The estimate comes after all the calculations, here we are talking about seismic, data interpretation, drilling and all the rest,” Romgaz CEO Adrian Volintiru has stated.


Investment worth USD 100mln

Works are managed by GSP, but performed by Scarabeo 9 rig, owned by Italy’s Saipem, part of Eni group, one of the largest global players in the energy industry. Registered under the flag of Bahamas, Scarabeo 9 is a last generation semisubmersible drilling rig. Built in 2009, it is designed to work at depths of up to 12,000 ft (3,657.60 meters) and execute drilling at depths of up to 50,000 ft (15,240 meters). It has a gross tonnage of 36,863, length of 115 meters and breadth of 86.33 meters. Idu Shipping & Services is the agent of the vessel.

Costs for this new well are estimated at USD 100mln. The major novelty for GSP is that for the first time the group manages a deep offshore drilling project, Gabriel Comanescu, owner of the offshore drilling company GSP, has mentioned.


A new discovery expected

Chances for EX-30 Trident Block in the Black Sea to hold another major gas reserve exceed 50%, besides the reserve already discovered in 2014, Gabriel Comanescu mentioned. The second reserve could reach 30 billion cubic meters of gas, i.e. Romania’s consumption needs for approximately three years. In the event where the information on the second deposit in EX-30 Trident Block is confirmed, it would mean that total reserves would amount to 60bcm. In a pessimistic scenario, the total reserve could reach 45bcm, which could cover Romania’s consumption for four years and a half.

Given that Trinity-1X well drilling follows a recent commercial success obtained by the second well, 1X Lira, which led to the discovery of a gas accumulation with a contingent resource of approximately 32bcm, it is desirable that this trend continues, so as to be able to prepare a confident plan for the appraisal and development of EX-30 Trident Block.

The name Trinity was chosen with a view to the success of exploration, in the Christian religion representing “the unity between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

“Through an offshore exploration partnership in the Black Sea basin, Romgaz has approached a new direction of business development, as it aims to consolidate its portfolio of resources and reserves and create an optimal framework for a sustainable development of the company,” Adrian Volintiru also mentioned.


Exploration history – EX-30 Trident Block

During May – October 2015, the first exploration-discovery wells were drilled.

Daria-1X Well reached a depth of 2,870m, in water depths of 335m, and the result without hydrocarbon shows has determined well abandonment, for this purpose following the best practices in the oil industry, in compliance with the European offshore regulations on exploration wells abandonment.

Lira-1X Well, which led to the discovery of a gas accumulation with a contingent resource of approximately 32bcm, reached the depth of 2,700m, in water depths of 702m. The reserves of Lira discovery have not been considered sufficient for a profitable production from an economic point of view; therefore, the titleholders of petroleum agreement have considered necessary to extend the exploration period, to verify by drilling a least an exploration-discovery well, Trinity-1X, the confirmation of new potential hydrocarbon reserves.

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