Bulgaria's government said that it has approved the transfer of 30% of the exploration rights on offshore Block 1-14 Khan Kubrat to the local branch of Australia's Woodside Energy from the current sole holder, Shell International Exploration and Development Italia. The government has mandated energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova to sign an additional agreement with the two companies for the transfer of the 30% interest, it said in a statement following its weekly meeting. In August, Woodside Energy said that it has entered into a farm-in agreement with Shell International Exploration and Development Italia to acquire a 30% non-operated participating interest in Block 1-14 Khan Kubrat, in the Bulgarian sector of the Black Sea."This opportunity targets an emerging oil and gas province close to existing infrastructure and markets," Woodside Energy said in its interim financial report. Planning is in progress to drill an exploration well in the second quarter of 2019, Woodside Energy also said. In January, Shell successfully completed a comprehensive geophysical survey in the Khan Kubrat licence area and said it expected to start an exploration drilling programme in late 2018 or early 2019.