Sonde Resources Corp., Calgary, reached agreement with the Joint Oil authority on terms for Sonde to enter the second phase of the exploration period on the Joint Oil block in the Gulf of Gabes offshore Libya and Tunisia.
The agreement allows Sonde to defer the three exploratory well obligations into the second phase of the exploration period and avoid the $15 million potential penalty for each well had Sonde not spudded by December 2012. Joint Oil’s board expected to approve and ratify the agreement on Dec. 20.
Entry into the second phase will remove a major obstacle to attract financing through a partnering process begun early this year and allow Sonde the necessary flexibility to fully exploit the potential of the Joint Oil block. Sonde will announce the final terms of the agreement once ratified.
Meanwhile, Sonde has reached a tentative agreement on unitization principles for Zarat field with PA Resources AB, Stockholm, the Zarat license holder, to the south of the Joint Oil block. The unit plan of development is on track for submission to Tunisian authorities for approval by the end of the second quarter of 2013.
Sonde and PA Resources are conducting a detailed reservoir technical evaluation. Preliminary results indicate that gas recycling is a viable production option that will allow the production of oil and condensate in advance of gas blowdown.
Sonde said the Gulf of Gabes consortium meets regularly and has retained technical consultants to evaluate alternatives to the treatment and storage of the inert and acid gases. As operator of the Joint Oil block, Sonde and Joint Oil are active participants in this initiative. The consultants expect the various studies to take 12 months to identify alternatives for carbon dioxide sequestration.