WASHINGTON, July 12 (RIA Novosti) – Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. will spend $735 million drilling two deep-water oil wells off Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, Bloomberg.com reported on Friday.
The payout will consist of $400 million to be used for conducting seismic surveys and drilling the two wells, and another $335 million “signing bonus” for the Ukrainian government, according to an Energy Ministry official.
The Black Sea is relatively undeveloped by the global oil industry. It has fewer than 100 oil wells, whereas the North Sea has 7,000, according to Bloomberg. A recently opened gas field off the coast of Romania, now yielding 630 million cubic feet a day (17.8 million cubic meters) has fueled interest in the area.
Ukraine will formalize the exploration agreement with Exxon later this year, the Energy Ministry official told Bloomberg, choosing to remain anonymous as he is not authorized to talk to the media.