Tower-Wessex get block off Western Sahara

Wessex Exploration PLC and Tower Resources PLC have signed an assurance agreement with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic for a production sharing contract for the Imlili block in the Atlantic off Western Sahara.

Wessex Exploration PLC and Tower Resources PLC have signed an assurance agreement with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic for a production sharing contract for the Imlili block in the Atlantic off Western Sahara.

The firms intend limited activity until a political solution has been reached on the sovereignty of SADR, which the United Nations has declared as a nonself-governing territory. The companies will examine legacy seismic and exploratory well data.

The 16,965 sq km Imlili block lies offshore from the 44,298 sq km Bojador block and east of the 15,760 sq km Guelta block in each of which Tower and Wessex have a 50% equity interest. Tower obtained its interests in Bojador and Guelta when it acquired Comet Petroleum Ltd. in June 2008. Imlili extends from shore to 150 m of water (see map, OGJ, June 24, 2002, p. 38).

The award of the block gives Wessex and Tower joint control over a swathe of prospective acreage in the Aaiun basin more than 500 km long in a dip direction, extending from the outcrop in the east to the deep water in the west.

Imlili was poorly explored more than 5 decades ago and is known to be underlain by a stratigraphic section of Mesozoic and Tertiary clastic deltaic facies rocks more than 4,000 m thick. The block is also underlain by a small salt basin. A few exploratory wells drilled in the block and surroundings in the early 1960s had oil shows in good quality sandstones, and geologic data suggest the presence of all ingredients necessary for a working petroleum system.

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