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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.