Oryx to farm out offshore Congo interest to Total

Africa-focused oil company Oryx Petroleum has agreed to farm out a 30 percent stake in an offshore Congo exploration license to France’s Total.

Oryx on Monday said that Total, which is the operator of the license, would pay $8 million to acquire Oryx’s interest in Hauter Mer B exploration license, with effect from January 1, 2018.

As a result, Total has agreed to reimburse Oryx for costs incurred by it in relation to Haute Mer B between January 1, 2018 and the date of the Farmout Agreement and to carry the Oryx’s share of costs from the date of the farm-out agreement to the closing of the transaction.

This is expected to result in a further payment to Oryx, at closing, of approximately $5.3 million.

The farm-out deal is subject to a waiver of pre-emptive rights held by other partners in Haute Mer B, and the consent of partners and the government of the Republic of Congo to the transfer of the Oryx Petroleum interests. Oryx on Monday said it expected the transaction to close before the end of June 2018.

Following the completion of the transaction, Total will own a 64.6 percent stake in the Haute Mer B license with a 34.6% interest.

According to info available on Oryx’s website, two prospects and eight leads have been identified in Haute Mer B which contain 160 MMbbl of best estimate unrisked gross (working interest) prospective oil resources (risked: 31 MMbbl) in Cretaceous carbonate reservoirs and Tertiary reservoirs that Oryx Petroleum believes are similar to near-by producing fields.

In a statement released in March, Oryx CEO Vance Querio said the company, apart from the planned Haute Mer B exit, was working to complete the disposal of its interest in the Haute Mer A license area in Congo (Brazzaville) “in the coming months.”

During 2017, Oryx disposed of the OML 141 license area in Nigeria and relinquished of the AGC Shallow license area.

Looking ahead Querio in March said: “Our 2018 capital program is focused on our core license areas: the Hawler license area in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and the AGC Central license area offshore Senegal and Guinea Bissau. In the Hawler license area, our program includes the drilling or re-entry of seven wells and has been designed to allow us to significantly increase production and better define the development potential of the three key fields in the license area.

“We recently finished drilling the first of the seven planned wells. The ZEG-2 well targets the Zey Gawra Cretaceous reservoir, and we expect to complete the well as a producer in the coming weeks. In the AGC Central license area, our forecasted capital expenditures include a final payment for the acquisition of 3D seismic data currently being interpreted and preparations for exploration drilling planned in 2019.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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