By an OGJ correspondent
LIMA, Sept. 16 -- Syntroleum Peru Holdings Ltd. and BPZ Energy Inc. are seeking one or more partners to join their activities in offshore Block Z-1 off Peru's far northern coast, according to Fernando Zuñiga, BPZ's president. The companies signed an exploration and development contract with Perupetro, the state oil agency, on Nov. 30, 2001.
Syntroleum and Houston-based BPZ hope to build on previous discoveries on the block to declare a commercial oil and gas find on the block before the fourth year of the contract, in order to benefit from a 30% discount on royalties offered by the government.
Syntroleum Peru, a unit of Tulsa-based Syntroleum Corp., is aiming to use its gas-to-liquids technology to install a GTL plant in Peru, provided it confirms sufficient natural gas reserves (OGJ, Dec. 17, 2001, p. 34)
Syntroleum and BPZ are currently completing their environmental impact assessment on the block. Diving operations have been completed to inspect the four existing platforms in the block that date back some 30 years, when US firms Tenneco Oil Co. and Union Oil Co. of California were exploring the area.
Syntroleum is evaluating the platforms to decide whether they are in suitable condition to hold drilling rigs prior to accepting responsibilty for the facilities.
Argentina's Perez Companc SA also explored the same offshore area as recently as 2 years ago, but returned the block to Perupetro after conducting preliminary work.
Perupetro said that small hydrocarbon finds made previously by companies exploring the area led to reserves estimates of 540 bcf of gas.