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Austrian company to extract oil in Georgia

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, March 12
The Georgian government has signed an agreement with an Austrian company that will start extracting oil and gas in Georgia. An open international tender for the license was held on June 22, 2020, one of the winners of which was OMV PETROM SA, a member of the largest Austrian oil company OMV Group.

The contract was signed by Giorgi Tatishvili, Head of the State Oil and Gas Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Jose Rafael Duc-Ramirez, Business Development and Commercial Director of OMV Petrom SA, and Bernhard Krainer, Director of Business Evaluation and Research of the same company.

After meeting the officials of the company, the head of the government announced that the interest of the Austrian company to start gas exploration works in Georgia indicates that the country has a good business environment.

Peter Zillinger, a member of the Executive Board of OMV Petrom, said in an interview with Globuc that the attractiveness of the business environment in Georgia is well known and is reflected in international rankings. According to him, the company is eager to enter the deep waters of Georgia, which is gradually opening up.

The project involves the extraction, acquisition, and processing of geological and geophysical data for oil and gas in the Black Sea Continental Shelf (area 5,282 sq. Km) for a period of 25 years. The company that won the tender will carry out 2 and 3-dimensional seismic exploration works, and at the last stage, drilling will begin. The cost of the drilling stage depends on the results of the studies. The cost of a similar project - the discovery of a domino field in Romanian territorial waters, which is connected to the Austrian OMV - is $1.5 billion.

Among the Black Sea countries, exploration operations are carried out in Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine. The search revealed large hydrocarbon deposits in Romania and Ukraine, close to the commercial discovery in Bulgaria, where the company operates. It should be noted that Georgia is the only country in the Black Sea basin where oil and gas exploration is not carried out on the shelf.

In Georgia, the average annual production during the last ten years is 43.6 thousand tons. In addition to the state-owned Oil and Gas Corporation, the oil will be extracted by 6 investor companies: Ninotsminda Oil Company; Schlumberger Rustaveli Company (Georgia) Limited; Frontera Resources Georgia; VPI Georgia; Satskhenisi Georgia; Norio Gorge Georgia.