Indian firms, Sonatrach sign Libyan PSC

Oil India Ltd., Sonatrach, and Indian Oil Corp. will explore three blocks in two contract areas in Libya under a PSC signed with Libya's state-owned NOC.

Jun 5th, 2008

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, June 5 -- Oil India Ltd., Sonatrach, and Indian Oil Corp. will explore three blocks in two contract areas in Libya under a production-sharing contract signed with Libya's state-owned oil firm National Oil Corp. The gas-prone acreage originally was awarded under the licensing round last year.

The consortium has secured contract area 95/96 in the Ghadames basin. Blocks 1and 4 are within contract area 96, and Block 2 falls partially within contract areas 95 and 96. The blocks span a total of 6,934 sq km in southwestern Libya, adjacent to the Algeria border about 700-km from Tripoli.

The companies will spend $152 million on its work program, which initially will involve shooting 2,000 km of 2D seismic and 2,600 sq km of 3D seismic, and drilling eight exploration wells.

The prospects are estimated to hold more than 2 tcf of gas and 95 million bbl of condensate, with oil possible as an upside. "Overall, the block with a fair amount of seismic coverage, drilled wells, inside discoveries, and proximal fields is a very prospective venture," the group said in a joint statement. "The surface terrain is desert with production infrastructures available towards the northwestern side, outside the offered area."

The block is in one of the major Paleozoic tectonic units of the country extending to Algeria in the west and Tunisia towards the north.

Mapping has identified a number of large prospects towards the west and northwest, the group said, and moderate-sized prospects towards the east, central, south, and southeast areas. "The prospects mapped are identified at all the Paleozoic (Ordovician -Devonian) levels with confidence. Due to the paucity of seismic data, the interpretation towards the eastern part is constrained," the group added.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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