Murphy has secured 15-year development rights to the Azurite area within the deepwater Mer Profonde Sud (MPS) block, off Congo. A $2MM fee is due upon Decree publication and $3MM upon field production start. An additional $3MM will be due upon reaching output reaching 50 MMBO. Azurite will be developed through subsea wells and is expected to deliver first oil by first quarter 2009, producing 40,000 BOPD at peak. Murphy operates the MPS Block with 50%. Partners include PA Resources 35% and state hydrocarbon company SNPC 15%.
Kenya’s plans to offer E&P rights seem to be evolving with 20 blocks now reportedly earmarked for a 2008 effort. It appears that the Anza Basin is out of bounds as already mostly licenced to Camec (Block 11), Lundin (Block 10A), and Vangold (Block 3A). The available acreage would be in the Lamu, Mandera, and/or Tertiary Rift basins. Last year seven available offshore blocks were identified as L- 13 (2,906 sq km, partly offshore), L-15 (2,331 sq km, shallow water), L10A (4,962 sq km), L-10B (5,585 sq km), L-1 lA (5,009 sq km), L-1lB (4,963 sq km), L-12 (4,982 sq km), all in the deepwater Lamu Basin.
Frazimex, the Nigerian minnow, is seeking partners to share exploration in the 3,860 sq km offshore block SL-3, off W-central SL. The contract is nearing the end of its first three-year term which called for 1,200km of 2D seismic and 300 sq km of 3D seismic. Phases 2&3 (2 years each) require an exploratory well, and further seismic is planned. Contact email@example.com.
Tunisian authorities have approved DualEx’s application for exclusive rights to the 416-sq km undrilled Bouhajia block, onshore Pelagian Basin. The block was awarded under PSC terms. DualEx is expected to collect 100km of2D seismic data in two years, and should drill one well in the ensuing two years. The final award is subject to finalisation of detailed terms and government ratification. The area was formerly part of Kufpec’s reduced Kairouan Nord block and lies west of the Sidi El Kilani oilfield.
Circle Oil Egypt Ltd (COEL) has signed a farm-in agreement covering the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons with Vegas Oil and Gas SA for the NW Gemsa Block in Egypt. Circle Oil will hold a 40% interest, with operator Vegas having a 50% interest and Premier Oil retaining 10%. The 400 sq km NW Gemsa concession, lies about 300 km southeast of Cairo in a partially unexplored part of the Gulf of Suez Basin. It includes the April 2005 discovery Al Amir-1, which flowed 787 BOPD on test. The concession agreement has recently entered its second phase of three years and is valid for a further two and a half years. It has the right of conversion to a production license of 20 years, plus extensions, in the event of commercial discoveries. As part of the agreement, subject to ratification by Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and the Minister of Petroleum, Circle will contribute towards the cost of the Amir SE-1 exploration well which will target the Nubia Sandstone at a depth of 12,870 feet. The Nubia Sandstone is a well known producer within the Gulf of Suez Basin. The drilling rig contract is due to be concluded shortly and the well was scheduled to commence drilling in early February 2008. The structure is a partial dip and fault closure and has an operator estimated potential of 1 00MMBO in situ based on the present outlined closure area.
Chinese companies in Sudan are buying oilfield assets from each other. Sinopec is looking to pick up CNPC’s 100% interest in Block 6 in the Muglad Basin, a deal not involving any financial transaction. Sinopec already held these rights in 2000 through its combination with erstwhile holder Zhonguyan but this was handed to CNPC as Sinopec went public. Block 6 currently produces 60,000 BOPD.
Arabian Oil Company is seeking buyers for up to 50% of its 100% interest in the 185-sq km NW October block, in the north of Gulf of Suez. The block is situated in water depth of 45-65metres. The company wants to do the selling before embarking on development of the NWO 1 discovery (5.200 BOPD of28-32 API oil from the Nukhul and Thebes formations). Offers are invited until l May 2008. Effective date will be 1 January 2008. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
COTE D’IVOIRE Afren has reached an agreement with Devon to acquire the latter’s interests in Côte d’Ivoire for $205MM, of which a 47.96% operating interest in Ci-11, a direct 65% and operatorship with rights over an additional 15% interest in Ci-0l, and 100% in the onshore Lion Gas Plant. The deal, which marks the AIM Listed Afren’s entry into Cote D’Ivoire, is to be made effective 30 June 30, 2007. Combined 2P reserves for Ci-0l and Ci- 11 are about 28MMBOE as of 30 June 2007, providing immediate access to 3,000 BOEPD net. The company is targeting over 6,000 BOEPD from 2010. The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory and governmental approvals.
Afren, the AIM listed African company, has entered into a Heads of Agreement with Gulf Energy Resources to acquire a 5% stake in Angola ‘s Cabinda Central License Block B. Devon Energy is the operator ofthe 1,125 sq km license located in the Cabinda province of Angola. Other partners in the block are Repsol 25%, Sonangol 20%, and Petrogal with 20%. The acquisition is consistent with Afren’s decision to further expand its presence in Western Africa by entering into one of the most promising onshore blocks in the second largest subSaharan producing country. Devon plans to recommence exploration work in the License subject to the effectiveness of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) Balkany revealed
EGYPTIAN GAS HOLDING COMPANY (Egyptian Gas Holding Company EGAS) has awarded six oil prospecting blocks to as many operators in its third bid round in five years. Austrian company OMV got the 9,140 sq km Obaiyed Offshore exploration block, located in the Mediterranean waters. The main part of Obaiyed offshore lies in deep waters, off the city of Matruh. German independent RWE Dea was awarded 100% working interest in Tanta, a new onshore concession located partly in the prolific Nile Delta area. The 3,300 km2 block adjoins RWE Dea’s Disouq concession, which lies to the north, where the company only recently tested oil successfully in a wildcat Tayifah 1. Algeria’s state oil company Sonatrach was assigned the El Dabaa Offshore block (see story below on this page). Meanwhile, two exploration blocks went to India’s Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. (GSPCL). North Hapy block covers 4,180 sq km in the offshore Nile Delta, and will be mainly to explore for gas. The area remains so far totally undrilled. South Diyur covers 37,678 sq km in the Western Desert, southern Egypt. This is considered a medium risk, high reward asset and has a possibility of natural gas and crude oil. Available data on the lease includes 1,165 km of 2D seismic profiles as well as two wells.
OMV plans to conduct a 3D seismic program in the block in Obaiyed block; RWE Dea is committed to drill at least two wells in addition to acquiring 3D seismic with minimum expenditures of $1 8.9MM in the first three years.