Lukoil, a Russian oil and gas exploration and production company, plans to spend approximately USD 100 million on exploration activities off the coast of Sierra Leone, AFP reports.
Anatoli Katoshin, Lukoil vice-president told AFP “We are going to invest $100 million in the first phase of an oil exploration venture in the first quarter of 2013.”
Lukoil is by no means a newcomer to the oil rich West Africa region. They have assets in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and, in 2011, through its subsidiary LUKOIL Overseas, they expanded their African assets portfolio by acquiring a stake in an offshore deepwater block in Sierra Leone.
The block, called SL-5-11, in which Lukoil bought 49% from Nigeria-based Oranto Petroleum, covers an area of 4,022 square kilometers with water depth ranging from 100 to 3.300 meters. The company has already acquired seismic data and preliminary forecast identified a number of prospects with material oil resources.
The Russian oil giant has every right to be optimistic about Sierra Leone’s oil potential. In February 2012, another oil giant, the U.S. based Anadarko, reported that its Jupiter-1 well, offshore Sierra Leone, had encountered hydrocarbons.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, April 6, 2012; Image: Lukoil