Exploration/Development Briefs

Oct. 14, 2013


Sonde Resources Corp., Calgary, said that the board and general assembly of the Joint Oil authority have approved the assignments and amendment to the exploration and production sharing agreement required as conditions precedent to closing the farmout to Viking Exploration & Production Tunisia Ltd. for the Joint Oil block in the Mediterranean off Libya and Tunisia.

Sonde, Joint Oil, and Viking will meet soon to sign documents associated with the assignments and EPSA amendment. After, Sonde and Viking can proceed with closing the farmout.

Closing is subject to, among other conditions, a condition precedent that the previously disclosed $50.995 million bank guarantee, of which Viking is responsible for $40 million and Sonde for the remainder, must be fully funded prior to closing.

Toufic Nassif, president of Sonde North Africa, said, "Joint Oil's approval of these agreements is a significant milestone on the path to closing the Viking farmout and pursuing the development of the Zarat field and exploration of the Joint Oil block."


The government of Madagascar has approved the farmout by Niko Resources Ltd., Calgary, to OMV AG of a 40% interest in the Grand Prix PSC.

Niko, which retains a 35% working interest, expected to receive proceeds from the transaction from OMV by Oct. 3. Consideration was not disclosed. EnerMad Corp. holds the other 25% interest.

OMV will become operator and drill an exploratory well that is expected to spud in early 2015. The 16,845 sq km block extends from the island's western coast to more than 1,000 m of water.


Myanmar's Ministry of Energy and state Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise are attempting to heighten interest in oil and gas exploration under recent political reforms in the Asian country.

An exhibition and conference are planned in Yangon Feb. 24-27, 2014, organized by ITE Group PLC, to showcase the country's resources, which are estimated at 50 million bbl of oil and 283.3 billion cu m of gas. The country has seen limited land and offshore exploration.

New Zealand

TAG Oil Ltd. plans to production-test the Cheal E-1 and E-2 wells in New Zealand's Taranaki basin starting in mid-October after logs indicated that each well encountered hydrocarbon-bearing strata in the Urenui and Mount Messenger formations, said East West Petroleum Corp., Vancouver, BC.

East West is a partner with TAG Oil in a nine-well exploratory drilling program in the basin.

Cheal-E2, in the Cheal North exploration permit, went to a total depth of 2,198 m.

The Nova-1 rig will now drill the Cheal E-3 well to another Urenui and Mount Messenger prospect on the Cheal North permit.


GazpromNeft-controlled Nafta Industrija Srbije is close to starting an exploration program on four concessions that total 1 million acres in the Pannonian basin in western Romania, said East West Petroleum Corp., Vancouver, BC.

NIS will carry East West in a seismic and 12-well drilling program on the EX-2 Tria, EX-3 Baile Felix, EX-7 Periam, and EX-8 Biled blocks. Romania's state Petrom previously controlled the spread but had not explored actively for 2 decades.