Serbia's NIS to start seismic hunt for oil in Romania

SARAJEVO, July 4 Thu Jul 4, 2013 6:39am EDT

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SARAJEVO, July 4 (Reuters) - Serbian oil and gas company NIS said it had hired Hungarian firm Acoustic Geophysical Services to conduct 2D and 3D seismic screening at one of its four oil and gas exploration blocks in western Romania.

The screening will be carried out over 545 square kilometres of the Tria concession block to help define potential reserves of oil and gas and potential sites for drilling wells, said NIS, which is majority owned by Russia's Gazprom Neft.

Under the plan, drilling of the first well should start at the beginning of 2014, and at least three wells should be drilled in the course of the year, NIS said.

NIS said it would invest 21.2 million euros ($27.5 million) in the first phase of the project.

In 2011, a unit of NIS in Romania and Canada-based East West Petroleum Corporation signed a deal to develop four blocks, but so far the Romanian government has approved a licence for only one concession block.

Under the deal, NIS will retain an 85 percent share of all production realised from the four concessions and the remainder will go to EWP.

Romania has estimated oil reserves of 1.4 billion barrels.

NIS produces around 1.7 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) from fields in Serbia. Production has doubled from 0.85 mtoe four years ago and NIS aims for 5 mtoe by 2030, it said.

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