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Chornomornaftogaz decides against leasing right to drill outside Ukraine

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Aug. 13, 2012, 3:42 p.m. | Business — by Interfax-Ukraine


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State-run enterprise Chornomornaftogaz (Simferopol, Crimea) has to refuse to accept applications on the leasing of its modern self-elevating floating drilling rigs for exploration in neighbor countries, the company has told Interfax-Ukraine.

Chornomornaftogaz said that recently works on oil and gas exploration in the Black Sea have been stirred up and demand on modern drilling rigs is growing.

"Recently we had to reject an application for the Petro Hodovanets self-elevating floating drilling rig to operate on the shelf in Romania. The rig has been booked-up for the next several years in the Ukrainian section [of the Black Sea] and we don’t have even holes of 30-40 days to provide drilling services for a well. This concerns the Nezalezhnist fifth generation rig, which will start operating at the end of this year," Chornomornaftogaz Deputy Board Chairman Oleksandr Katsuba has said.

At present, only two companies in the region have drilling rigs – Romania's Group Servicii Petroliere (GSP) and Ukraine's Chornomornaftogaz. Only Chornomornaftogaz has two drilling rigs of last generation with a possibility to set it to the maximum depth for such rigs – 120 meters.

The cost of leasing of such drilling rigs varies in 2012 from $155,000 to $370,000 per day, and the average term of the order fulfillment is 12-15 months. The average cost grew over the past year by 1.5 times, and demand on drilling rigs in the Black Sea region will continue growing, according to experts.

Chornomornaftogaz now has four drilling rigs (the fourth will arrive in Q4, 2012), and Romania's Group Servicii Petroliere (GSP) has seven drilling rigs, three of them are leased in the North Sea and Mediterranean.

At preset, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine are actively explore the shelf of the Black Sea.

Chornomornaftogaz carries out offshore development in the Ukrainian sections of the Black and Azov Seas. The company also produces hydrocarbons at fields the Crimea, and operates the Hlibovske underground gas storage facilities and trunk pipelines on the peninsula. It is wholly owned by Naftogaz Ukrainy.

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