Total, CNPC units take Tethys Tajikistan farmout

Subsidiaries of Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp. have taken a farmout from a Tethys Petroleum Ltd. subsidiary on the large Bokhtar production sharing contract area in Tajikistan.

The 8.65 million acre PSC in the Afghan-Tajik basin will be operated by a joint operating company to be set up and owned by Tethys unit Kulob Petroleum Ltd., Total TUP Tajikistan BV, and China National Oil & Gas Exploration & Development Corp. (CNODC) in proportion to their equal ownership in the PSC. Tethys Petroleum owns an indirect 85% controlling interest in KPL.

The $80 million initial work program is expected to comprise further seismic shooting and a deep exploratory well. Further details are to be made public in the first quarter of 2013. KPL will be partly carried on the initial work program for an $8.9 million funding obligation.

KPL will receive 66.67% of back costs amounting to a $60 million cash payment on completion. As Tethys Petroleum has almost solely funded the project to date, monies received by KPL from this transaction will first be used to repay loans to Tethys. The Tajikistan government is to confirm the exact amount.

The farmout is subject to final Tajik governmental approvals and state consents. Closing will take place once these approvals and all other conditions are satisfied and is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2013.

Tethys Petroleum noted that the Amu-Darya basin in neighboring Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan contains some of the world’s largest gas and gas-condensate fields and that the same reservoirs have never been drilled in the basin’s Afghan-Tajik extension in southwestern Tajikistan.

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