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SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 10 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria is preparing to launch a procedure to award an oil and gas prospecting and exploration permit in Tervel offshore block in the Black Sea, the energy ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry provided no further details in a statement issued after a meeting between energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova and Xavier Faugeras, general manger of Total E&P Bulgaria, which is carrying out exploration works in the 1-21 Han Asparuh offshore block. France's Total holds a 40% interest in Total E&P Bulgaria, while Austria's OMV and Spain's Repsol hold 30% each.
During the meeting Petkova and Faugeras discussed planned amendments to the Subsurface Resources Act.
The government's main goal is to ensure an environment that is conducive to foreign investments, Petkova is quoted as saying.
In December, Total E&P Bulgaria said it plans to start its third deepwater drilling in the 1-21 Han Asparuh block.
Total E&P Bulgaria won a permit for prospecting and exploration of oil and gas in the 1-21 Han Asparuh block in 2012. Under the terms of the contract, Total committed to invest over 1.0 billion euro ($1.17 billion) in the gas exploration process, while Bulgaria would receive 40 million euro in the form of a bonus payments from the deal.
The 1-21 Han Asparuh block is located deep offshore in the Bulgarian sector in the western part of the Black Sea and covers an area of 14,220 sq km with water depths up to 2,200 m.
($= 0.8534 euro)