Austrian oil and gas group OMV is again postponing an investment decision on its Black Sea exploration project and is now aiming for a decision next year at the earliest, its chief executive said on March 13.

The exploration of the Black Sea Neptun block is a joint venture between OMV’s Romanian subsidiary Petrom and U.S. major Exxon Mobil Corp., and includes the first deepwater exploration well in Romanian waters.

Exxon Mobil is considering exiting the project and OMV has signaled an interest in buying at least part of the Exxon stake.