SOCO Exploration and Production Congo S.A. has agreed to farm-out 8.5% of its interest in the Marine XI block, offshore the Republic of Congo, to Petrovietnam Exploration Production. The deal is subject to government approval. SOCO EPC will remain the operator with a 29% working interest in the block. The remaining interests are held by Lundin Marine SARL (18.75%), Raffia Oil SARL (18.75%), the national oil company Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (15%), and Africa Oil & Gas (10%). The Marine XI block is in water depths ranging up to 110 metres and covers approximately 1,400 sq km. A multi-well drilling programme is scheduled for the second half of 2008.
Shell has been granted offshore blocks BC 9 (5,279 sq km) and BCD 10(8,435 sq km) in Gabon. The licences are adjacent and mainly located in deepwaters, south of Perenco’s Arouwe permit and west of Forest Oil’s Gryphon Mann permit. The permit date is September 13, 2007.
PNGC has signed the EPSA for Blocks 1 and 2, Area 113, Murzuq Basin, with NOC, the Libyan state hydrocarbon company cum petroleum regulatory authority. PNGC secured the acreage in the 4th round which closed in December 2007. It covers 5,494 sq km on the limit of the Murzuq and Ghadames basins near the Algerian border.
Commitments call for a 3,000km two dimensional(2D) seismic data coverage, in addition to 1,500 sq km three dimensional (3D) seismic and eight wells for $108MM. Signature bonus is $ 10MM.
…NOC and ExxonMobil have signed the EPSA pertaining to the four-block, 1 0,000sq km offshore Area 21, Sirte Basin, located in water depth of 1 ,600-2,700rn. Commitments include 4,000km of 2D, 2,000 sq km of 3D seismic and one well, Signature bonus of $97MM will be paid as follows: $69MM following GPC’s approval. $28 MM more will be due later towards social technical programmes.
…NOC has ratified the awards of block 103 to Occidental (Oxy) and Block 89 to Shell. The Anglo Dutch major has committed to 1,750 sq km 3D seismic and six wells, total min. $95 MM. The signature bonus was $103 MM. Oxy and partner Liwa will go for 2,000 sq km 2D, 1,000 sq km 3D seismic and 3 wells, minimum.
A six -month extension has been granted to phase 1 exploration of the 21,600 sq km Petroquest licence area, pushing expiry to August 2008.
The six-block acreage is currently shared between 86.5% operator Petroquest (op) and East African Exploration which holds 13.5%. Partners are being sought.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.