Sterling, SNH clash over Ntem permit lapse (Cameroon)

Sterling Energy has received notice from Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures (SNH) that the First Renewal Period of the Ntem Concession, offshore Cameroon, has expired on April 22, 2015 and that the Ntem Concession has lapsed.

However, according to Sterling, the First Renewal Period has not expired.

Namely, after drilling the Bamboo-1 well, an assessment of remaining prospectivity of the Ntem Concession led to the conclusion that the area of greatest potential lay in an area subject to overlapping maritime border claims by the Republic of Cameroon and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Therefore as a result, the company notified SNH of force majeure pending formal resolution of the border claims. SNH refused to recognize the declaration of force majeure, but Sterling believes that its declaration on May 6, 2014 is valid.

As such, the First Renewal Period has been suspended since May 6, 2014 and therefore has not expired. In the event force majeure is lifted, approximately 10 months remain in the First Renewal Period, Sterling said.

Eskil Jersing, Chief Executive of Sterling said:

“Sterling is committed to working collaboratively with SNH and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Technological Development of Cameroon to determine the forward plan for the Ntem Concession given the declaration of force majeure and the notice from the Ministry. We will update the market as appropriate in due course.”

Sterling Energy’s subsidiary, Sterling Cameroon Limited, holds a 100% working interest in, and is operator of, the Ntem Concession.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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