Melrose Resources has been awarded concessions for two offshore exploration blocks, EX-27 (Muridava) and EX-28 (Est Cobalcescu), by the Romanian National Agency of Mineral Resources.

Located in the shallow waters of the Western Black Sea, the new licences have a combined area of 2,000km².

The blocks contain a number of plays and are in sync with existing Pliocene and Miocene gas discoveries elsewhere in Romanian waters.

The blocks were covered by old regional 2D seismic data with Muridava containing the Olimpiskiyi gas and oil discovery, which was drilled in 2001.

The work programme under the concession agreements for each block includes 2D and 3D seismic data studies in the first year, one well in the second year and two wells in the third year.

Melrose holds an 80% interest in the block, while global petroleum logistics firm Petromar holds the remaining 20%.

Eventually, Melrose will reduce its working interest in the blocks and spend about $60m on exploration activities during the initial term of the concessions.