Chevron has been awarded a five year permit worth € 50 million (£71.87 million) to explore a huge shale gas play in Northeastern Bulgaria. Chevron won a tender to develop the massive 4398 km2 (1698 m2) Novi Pazar field last month over Canada’s BNK Petroleum.
Chevron now plans to develop a five year working programme of works for the development of the field. The company will initially pay € 30 million to Bulgaria’s government to star exploring the field. Estimate shave shown that the field may contain between 300 billion and 1 trillion m3 of gas so the field could be very lucrative for Chevron and Bulgaria.
Economy and Energy Minister Traicho Traikov has said that shale gas and hydraulic fracturing have the potential to reduce harmful emissions, boost energy security and cut Bulgaria's almost full reliance on imported gas from Russia.
There has been some opposition to the planned sale gas exploration with the Bulgarian opposition party calling for a moratorium on shale gas drilling until it can be proved that the technology is safe. However, the government has stated that Chevron intends to invest up to 4 million euros in environmental protection.