Sterling Energy wins extension approval in Madagascar

offshore-madagascarSterling Energy has announced that it has secured approval to extend the existing phase of Ambilobe and Ampasindava blocks, offshore Madagascar, to July 2016

The Ambilobe production sharing contract (PSC), which was awarded in 2004, is in the second phase of the exploration period. All minimum work commitments for the existing phase have been completed, the AIM-listed company said.

Sterling Energy executive chairman Alastair Beardsall said, “We are pleased to receive approval for the extension of the current periods on both the Ambilobe and Ampasindava Blocks. Work continues on understanding the sub-surface potential of these two very large, undrilled exploration areas.”

The company also completed a farm-out agreement with Pura Vida in December 2013. The latter had carried all costs related with the acquisition of a discretionary 3D seismic programme, up to a maximum of US$15mn.

Both companies carry 50 per cent of the stake in the PSC and said that they would continue with planning of the 3D seismic programme, which is expected to start in March 2015.

The Ampasindava PSC, which was also awarded in 2004, is in the third phase of the exploration period. Sterling Energy owns a 30 per cent non-operated working interest in the block. ExxonMobil Exploration and Production (Northern Madagascar) operates it with a 70 per cent working interest.

Both companies had signed a farm-in agreement in 2005.

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