A newly-discovered natural gas deposit near Lovech in Northern Bulgaria contains 10 billion cubic meters of gas, Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism announced.
Traikov said that Bulgaria will soon be able to extract about 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, or about one-third of its annual consumption.
He spoke Tuesday night without providing details about the deposit near Lovech but he apparently referred to an area around the village of Deventsi in central northern Bulgaria explored in the recent years by Direct Petroleum, a US-based company.
In February 2011, Texas-based company TransAtlantic Petroleum acquired 100% of Direct Petroleum Bulgaria EOOD.
The news about the Lovech deposit comes two weeks after Bulgaria's Cabinet formally decided to award a large-scale concession for shale gas exploration to US energy giant Chevron. The exploration plot in question is near the town of Novi Pazar in Northeastern Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian government will get EUR 30 M from Chevron for the exploration rights.
According to the estimates of the bidders, the deposit near Novi Pazar contains between 300 billion and 1 trillion cubic meters of shale gas. In Traikov's words, Bulgaria's shale gas deposits should be able to guarantee its domestic consumption of natural gas for the next 1000 years.
It is still unclear when the extraction of the mentioned natural and shale gas deposits in Bulgaria can be materialized. At present Bulgaria's natural gas consumption is about 3 billion cubic meters per year, and 90% of that is imported from Russia. The rest comes from the development of the Kaliakra deposit in the Black Sea by UK company Melrose Resources. (Source: Sofia News Agency)