Total to operate Madagascar's heavy oil license

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Sept. 17 -- Total SA will operate the Bemolanga heavy oil license in Madagascar with a 60% interest after signing a farm-in agreement with Madagascar Oil SA.

They partners will use mining technology to develop the estimated 10 billion bbl of heavy oil in place. The onshore 6,500 sq m license in western Madagascar was granted to Madagascar Oil in 2004.

"During the initial appraisal phase, additional core drills will be drilled to determine the license's potential. A production pilot will be set up in a second phase to confirm the development parameters before considering a large scale development of the license," Total said.

It believes that heavy oil will be crucial to supply world markets within the next decade and will build upon its experience developing these projects in Venezuela and in Canada.

Total already has marketing, aviation fuel, and petroleum product logistics in Madagascar.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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