Circle Oil renews exploration permit on Mahdia (Tunisia)

Circle Oil Plc, the North African focused oil and gas exploration, development and production company, has announced that the Tunisian Authority has approved the application to renew the exploration permit on its Mahdia block, offshore Tunisia. 

The Permit is being extended for three years until January 19, 2018 and Circle Oil, as operator, currently has a 100% working interest in the Permit.

The Mahdia permit offshore Tunisia covers an area of 3,024km2, and contains the El Mediouni structure which was drilled by Circle’s EMD-1 well in August 2014. As the company announced on August 26, 2014, the well encountered notable oil shows in the Ketatna (Oligo-Miocene) carbonates. While mud losses prevented log data acquisition, Circle considers the shows to indicate a significant resource from the structure.

According to Circle Oil, the extension of the licence carries with it a one exploration well and one appraisal well commitment and a requirement to acquire 300km2 of 3D seismic.

Given its material working interest the company says it intends to select suitable partners with whom it can evaluate and develop the El Mediouni structure and other prospects on the permit. According to its press release, Circle has already had initial expressions of interest from a number of oil and gas companies with the financial strength and industry experience to make them suitable joint venture partners. The confirmation of this extension of the Permit will give interested parties greater certainty in making a formal approach and should greatly assist the company in concluding an agreement, the company said.

Circle Oil added that this farm out strategy will minimise Circle’s financial commitment, reduce risk, and still allow the company to benefit from the potential of the discovery.

Mitch Flegg, CEO Circle Oil comments: “Circle Oil wishes to place on record our thanks to the Tunisian Consultative Committee on Hydrocarbons. We look forward to continuing to work with them with the aim of delivering a project which would bring considerable benefit to the people of Tunisia and to Circle. We will now move forward with the process of identifying a suitable partner or partners to work with us to realise the value of this exciting discovery.”

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