VIENNA, June 25 (UPI) -- Austrian energy company OMV announced Tuesday it started a seismic investigation of potential oil and natural gas reserves off the coast of Bulgaria.
OMV said it started its survey of a 2,988 square foot area in the 1-21 Han-Asparuh block in the western section of the Black Sea.
"We are looking forward to starting a seismic campaign that will enable us and our partners to define the drilling locations for the two exploration wells that are planned during the exploration period in order to assess potential hydrocarbon resources in this part of the Black Sea," OMV production director Jaap Huijskes said in a statement.
The block is in the deep waters of the Black Sea where depth is as much as 1.3 miles.
OMV gave no indication of the reserve potential in the area. OMV and French energy company Total were among the sponsors of a Black Sea oil and natural gas conference in Bulgaria in March. Conference organizers said the Black Sea was "promising" for energy explorers.
Bulgaria is expected to play a key role as a regional energy hub once competing pipeline projects planned by Russia and Europe get under way.