OMV optimistic about Madagascar oil prospects

Iavoloha palaceJohn Austin, general manage, Sub Saharan Africa, for OMV has spoken positively about the possibility of the Grand Prix offshore block going into production in the coming years

Mr Austin told the Africa Oil Week conference that there are plans to drill in 2018. He described Madagascar as "still an important component of growth for the future". The Grand Prix wok is part of a strategy that has become popular among companies investing in Africa during the downturn, that is, to acquire assets at a low cost with a view to monetising when the oil price picks up again.

OMV has acquired seismic data and is a 90 per cent stake holder on a license that expires in September 2019. According to the geological data, the Morondava basin is analogous to the Ivorian-Tano basin, and the Grand Prix block potentially contains "well over 2 bn barrels of oil". The company is now seeking a farm-out partner willing to take on a stake of up to 50 per cent.

According to Mr Austin, the project is "less about volume, more about value". He added that the Madagascar government offers an attractive fiscal environment with a take of less than 40 per cent.

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