Under the agreement, Ophir will fully fund the acquisition of 1,500 sq km of 3D seismic up to a total of $17 million. Ophir also will pay WHL $4 million cash for partial recovery of back costs.
Following acquisition and evaluation of the data, Ophir may either withdraw from the farm-in or exercise two options.
The first is to fully fund the acquisition of a further 1,000 sq km of 3D seismic up to a total of $12 million. The second is to fund 90% of the cost of the first exploration well up to a total of $30 million.
Once these options have been exercised, Ophir will pay WHL another $2 million in cash to complete recovery of past expenses.
The initial seismic work is expected to begin this year and spill into 2015. WHL is applying to Seychelle authorities to extend the current exploration term till July 31, 2016.
The company initially acquired its interest offshore Seychelles in 2010. This consists of a 17,345 sq km exploration concession.
The company has identified 10 leads with potential to hold 200 million bbl of oil. Most are in less than 50 m of water with drilling targets at 2,000 m below the seafloor.
Ophir was formed in 2004 and has an extensive deepwater acreage position in west and east Africa with regional offices in Dar es Salaam and Mtwara, Tanzanier as well as in Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Ghana.