Talisman signs PSA with Qatar for Block 10

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 18 -- Talisman Energy Inc., Calgary, signed a production sharing agreement with the Qatar government for Block 10 covering 784,000 acres in shallow water 100 km northeast of Doha.

The agreement awaits ratification by official decree of the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, which Talisman expects within 30-60 days.

State oil company Qatar Petroleum made Block 10 available in a formal competitive bidding round in 2001. The block is between Al Khalij oil field to the east and Al Shaheen (oil) and North (gas) fields to the west.

"This is a high potential oil exploration play situated in the midst of major oil and gas discoveries," said Jim Buckee, Talisman president and CEO. "Qatar is entering its second phase of exploration, using modern seismic techniques to locate subtle traps. There is potential for discoveries in the 100-300 million bbl range."

The first exploration term is for 5 years during which time Talisman said it will reprocess existing 2D seismic data, acquire new 2D and 3D seismic data, and drill three wildcat wells.

Talisman is getting involved with the Middle East offshore project only weeks after agreeing to exit Sudan where it sold its indirectly held interest in the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Co. to ONGC Videsh Ltd. for $1.2 billion (Can.). Previously, activist groups had accused Talisman of helping the Sudanese government during a civil war (OGJ Online, Nov. 5, 2002).

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