Bulgaria will launch within a month a procedure to award a licence for oil and natural gas exploration in the country's economic zone in the Black Sea, near the border with Turkey.
The permit will cover the 3,500 square metre Block Teres and the exploration will be carried out at a depth of 5,000-6,000 metres, local daily Trud reported, quoting unnamed sources from Bulgaria's economy ministry.
A decision to open to the procedure is yet to be approved by the Council of Ministers.
Previous studies in the region have shown significant deposits of mostly oil and less natural gas, Trud added. Production from the block could begin in five years years.
On Tuesday, Turkey announced it has discovered large deposits of natural gas in a neighbouring field, which encouraged Bulgarian authorities to expect similar results from Teres Block.
In the past two months, Bulgaria granted exploration permits for the Blocks St. Athanasius and Khan Asparuh. According to preliminary estimations, the quantities of oil and natural gas discovered in those deposits could cover up to 50% of the country's needs.