Hess, Toreador to tap Paris basin shale oil

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 11
-- Hess Corp., New York, and Toreador Resources Corp., Paris, will jointly tackle Toreador’s shale oil permits in France’s Paris basin.

If the French government approves, the companies will finalize a definitive agreement under which Hess will earn a 50% interest in Toreador’s Paris basin exploration permits. Toreador holds 680,000 acres, and award of another 360,000 acres is pending.

“The partnership combines Toreador’s position covering the Paris basin shale oil resource with Hess’ position as a leading shale oil producer in the US along with its international operating and financial strengths,” the companies said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hess will pay $15 million initially and invest as much as $120 million in fulfillment of a two-phase work program. Phase 1 will consist of an evaluation of the acreage and drilling six wells, with the first well planned for later this year. Depending on the results of Phase 1, Phase 2 is expected to consist of appraisal and development activities.

Following Phase 2, provided contractual obligations have been met, Hess will hold a 50% percent share of Toreador’s working interest in the covered permits.

The Jurassic Toarcian shale in the Paris basin covers an area larger than the North Texas Barnett shale play (OGJ, Oct. 19, 2009, p. 39).

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