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MOL discontinues exploration in Makó trough

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL it will not continue a gas exploration project in Hungary's Makó trough, the company told MTI on Monday, after its exploration partner Exxon Mobil said it had suspended its participation in the project because of disappointing drilling tests.

MOL said hydrocarbons could be found in the middle part of the basin, but the probability gas could be profitably extracted was small, thus it decided not to continue the project.

The Makó trough belongs to MOL's “unconventional” portfolio.

The company said it remains committed to this portfolio and to the exploitation of the future opportunities it holds. Accordingly, it will continue its operations in the western part of the Makó trough as well.

MOL will use its experience gained in the Makó project in other unconventional projects in Hungary. Other projects in MOL's unconventional portfolio have different geological characteristics and differ in terms of the way they are evaluated, the technology used and the size of financing.

MOL began exploration in the Makó trough in partnership with Exxon Mobil's Hungarian subsidiary and Falcon/TXM in January 2009.

Exxon Mobil said on Friday that it suspended gas exploration in the Makó trough. At the same time it said it was quitting a contract with Canadian peer Falcon Oil and Gas on production and development in the region.

György Szabó, Falcon's chairman and managing director of the company's Hungarian unit TXM, told MTI at the weekend that Falcon could continue the exploration.

“Falcon has the legal possibility to continue unconventional gas exploration in the Makó trough,” Szabó said. “The company has a plan and a budget for this,” he added.

Falcon is in talks with several other companies with the aim of finding a new strategic partner with whom to continue the drilling.

Falcon said in November that it was temporarily suspending gas exploration in the Makó trough because of weak test results. (MTI-Ecoenws)