By Jerom Bolt
The natural gas from the Black Sea could be marketed as early as 2020 Exxon Mobil launched a $ 1.285 billion bid without VAT ($ 1.5 billion VAT) for the design and construction of gas pipelines, marine oil platforms and other facilities needed to extract the natural gas from the Black Sea Neptune perimeter, in the waters territorial of Romania.
The new auction is the largest so far and provides for the design and execution of several installations: a 154-kilometer tube of cement-covered carbon steel to transport gas from the offshore platform to a location near the shore; a fiber-optic cable system of 160 kilometers to provide communications between the offshore platform, the gas metering station and the central control room; a shallow water platform hosting the facilities necessary for the operation of 10 submarine wells in the Pelican and Domino perimeters to prepare natural gas for shore transport.
The contracts are added to $ 1.5 billion previously announced by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania for the development and exploitation of natural gas in the Black Sea. The Neptun project is controlled by Exxon Mobil and OMV Petrom. "Neptun Project Deepwaters (ExxonMobil - operator and OMV Petrom) continue to invest in technical and evaluation activities to complete the technical concept for the potential development of the first natural gas production in deep sea waters in the Romanian Black Sea area. The final investment decision is scheduled for the second part of next year. It depends on a number of technical, commercial and financial factors, "said ExxonMobil.
If the gas exploitation in the Neptun perimeter proves to be feasible, the final investment decision could be taken by the end of next year and the gas could be marketed in 2020.