VIENNA, July 21 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)