Political climate dampens Madagascar drilling expectations

Deepwater exploration off Madagascar is being stalled by the country’s uncertain political situation, according to Sterling Energy.

The company has interests in two offshore concessions, one being the Ampasindava block operated by ExxonMobil. The exploration period is due to expire late this year, and includes an obligation for one firm exploration well.

The partners are waiting for clearance to drill the Sifaka prospect, which could hold prospective resources of 2 Bbbl. However, Sterling would first look to farm down its 30 per cent working interest in the PSC to cover its share of the well costs.

In the Sterling-operated Ambilobe block, all Phase II work commitments have been met, with the focus currently on evaluating large Cretaceous and Tertiary leads. The Phase II exploration period is due to expire in November, and Sterling is seeking a farm-in partner to co-finance future seismic acquisition and exploration drilling.


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