French oil major Total and the National Office of Petroleum of Guinea (ONAP) have signed a technical evaluation agreement to study deep and ultra-deep offshore areas located off the coast of Guinea Conakry.
According to Total’s statement on Monday, the deal between the French company and ONAP would cover approximately 55,000 square kilometers.
Kevin McLachlan, senior VP of exploration at Total, said: “By taking this position on a new under-explored area, Total pursues its exploration strategy targeting deep offshore prospective basins.
“Therefore, Total has the opportunity to evaluate a very large area, located in an extension of the prolific Mauritania/Senegal basin where we already are. This will allow us to capitalize on our know-how and experience acquired in West Africa.”
According to the terms of this agreement, Total will have a year to assess the potential of the basin on the basis of existing data.
At the end of this period, the company will select three licenses to start an exploration program. As part of the deal, Total will also train ONAP staff to develop technical skills in exploration and production.
At the moment, Total’s main focus in the country is the distribution of petroleum products via a retail network of 150 service stations.
It is worth mentioning that Guinea launched its first offshore licensing round in June this year.
As far as exploration goes, the Hyperdynamics-operated Fatala-1 exploration well drilled offshore Guinea did not encounter hydrocarbons. In late September, the company said it would not be giving up on offshore Guinea because it still believes there’s still value to be found below the country’s seabed.