AWE to expand into oil exploration off Vietnam

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Mar. 23 -- Australian Worldwide Exploration Ltd., Sydney, has added Vietnam to the list of countries it operates in after signing a farmin agreement for offshore Block 06/94 in the South China Sea off Vietnam. The block lies in the Nam Con Son basin about 400 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

AWE is taking a 23.33% interest in the block from Serica Energy PLC, subject to the waiver of preemptive rights held by Vietnamese state-owned PetroVietnam as well as government approval.

AWE will fund Serica's share of the forthcoming drilling program to earn its interest.

The permit is adjacent to BP PLC's gas production facilities at the Lan Tay and Lan Do fields, which are connected by subsea pipeline to Ho Chi Minh City. Premier Oil's recent Chim Cong oil discovery is also nearby.

AWE says the permit is extensively covered by 3D seismic surveys, which were used to delineate the Tuong Vi prospect on the southern edge of the area and just east of Premier's finds. Tuong Vi is to be drilled in June targeting the Dua formation sandstones and the Nam Con Son Carbonate.

Interests in Block 06/94 will be Pearl Oil, operator, with 33.34%, Lundin Oil 33.33%, AWE 23.33%, and Serica 10%.

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