Royal Dutch Shell has been awarded a contract to explore for oil and gas in the Black Sea off the Bulgarian coast, Reuters reported.

Two blocks, Silistar and Tares, were placed for auction by the small country in April of this year. The only bidder for the Silistar block was Shell, which won the rights to explore.

The company is expected to spend nearly $22m in seismic surveying of the block, which it has exploration rights to for five years.

According to a media statement from Bulgaria’s Energy Ministry, Shell is planning a mix of 2D and 3D surveys of the region, and will take measures to protect the environment and conduct feasibility studies, noted the Sofia News Agency.

The Eastern-European country has long relied on natural gas from Russia, and is currently looking to reduce its dependency on that supply.