Seychelles gives nod to Ophir Energy’s farm-in deal with WHL Energy

offshore seychelles-hakonthingstad flickrSeychelles has approved of Ophir Energy’s farm-in agreement with WHL Energy for its 75 per cent interest in an offshore oil block

WHL Energy currently holds holds a 12,856 sq km exploration area offshore Seychelles.

Barry Faure, representative of state-owned PetroSeychelles, said, “Seychelles was pleased to have a company of Ophir Energy’s international standing and technical expertise join WHL Energy in the search for hydrocarbons off the country’s coastline. We believe there is potential for large amounts of oil and gas deposits to be found in Seychelles waters and we welcome the commitment and investment of companies like Ophir Energy and WHL Energy in searching for those potential riches. We look forward to this new joint venture moving forward in a timely manner to meet its commitments to explore in our water with great attention to environmental and technical excellence.”

David Rowbottam, managing director, WHL Energy, added that this was a significant milestone in WHL Energy’s history and something they have been working very hard to achieve since late 2010, when the Seychelles interests were first acquired.

“Since that time we have undertaken major investments including being the cornerstone client for a multi-client 2D seismic survey in Seychelles waters, additional substantial original work to develop the exploration potential of the Seychelles, identified that the Seychelles is most likely to be oil prone and, most importantly, formed a close working and personal relationship with the Seychelles government and PetroSeychelles,” he added.

Meanwhile, the winning 3D seismic contract bidder for an initial seismic survey under the new joint venture is expected to be named within the next few weeks, potentially allowing the acquisition programme to commence as early as the end of May or the beginning of June 2014 to take advantage of the current availability of a number of state-of-the-art seismic vessels in the East African region.

Ophir Energy is expected to fully fund the initial 1,500 sq km 3D seismic acquisition programme up to a total amount of US$17mn. The explorer will also pay an initial US$4mn to WHL Energy for the recovery of past costs.

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