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VIENNA, July 21 (Reuters) - ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom announced the start of drilling at a well that will help it assess the size and commercial viability of its Domino 1 Black Sea well, the most significant gas discovery in the region to date.
The two companies said on Monday they had started drilling at the Domino 2 well in the deepwater sector of the Neptun block in Romanian waters, which is about 200 kilometres (124 miles) offshore and is being drilled in a depth of about 800 metres.
Southeast Europe hopes natural gas exploration in the Black Sea will help cut its dependence on Russian supplies, but a gas bonanza remains elusive because deep water and tough geology have required costly high-tech equipment.
ExxonMobil Exploration and OMV Petrom each hold 50 percent of the deepwater sector of the Neptun block. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Holmes)