White Nile to join group to explore Sudan's Block B

White Nile Ltd. said it is confident it will be included in a consortium to explore and develop the enlarged Block B in southern Sudan after speaking to the area's government officials.

Jun 7th, 2007

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, June 7 -- White Nile Ltd. said it is confident it will be included in a consortium to explore and develop the enlarged Block B in southern Sudan after speaking to the area's government officials. The enlarged Block B will include White Nile's Block Ba as well as Blocks Bb and Bc.

White Nile is expected to work with Total SA, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (Kufpec), Sudan National Petroleum Corp. (Sudapet), and Nile Petroleum Corp. White Nile is in intense negotiations to resolve the ownership of its license over its acreage, which Total is also laying claim to.

The company made the announcement in response to press speculation about White Nile's license in southern Sudan.

White Nile was granted exploration rights in 2005 by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, whereas Total signed an exploration deal for Block B with the Sudanese government in 1980 along with its partners Marathon Oil Corp., Kufpec, and Sudapet (OGJ Online, Jul. 26, 2005).

White Nile said it was waiting to hear official comments from the government of southern Sudan regarding the outcome of its negotiations with the northern government over oil exploration and production in southern Sudan.

Last month the company said it would resume in the fourth quarter the drilling its first exploration well, Kedelai-1, on Block Ba about 200 km north of Juba in Jonglei state. The well has so far reached 2,408 m. Kedelai-1 will be extended 3,000 m to evaluate reservoir objectives in Aradeiba and Bentiu formations.

White Nile also wants to drill another two prospects identified by its initial seismic survey in Jonglei state. It said the Muglad basin, which is productive at Thar Jath, Mala, Heglig, and Unity to the northwest of Block Ba, extends into the concession area.

Plans are under way to shoot a 2D seismic survey in the Pibor Post basin in the eastern part of Block Ba about 200 km to the east of its Kedelai well. Acquisition will begin at the beginning of the next dry season.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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