Cooper Energy is pleased to inform shareholders that the Company has acquired 85% of the Nabeul Permit, which gives Cooper Energy a strong strategic exploration foothold in the region. The Nabeul Permit lies in the Gulf of Hammamet Offshore Tunisia and complements the Company’s established position in the Bargou (COE 85%) and Hammamet (COE 35%) Permits.
The asset was acquired from Capricorn Oil and Gas Tunisia Gmbh, a 100% subsidiary of Cairn Energy Plc. The consideration for the asset, which is payable when all necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained is US$1.5 million. In addition, Capricorn will receive from Cooper US$2 million on the occurrence of each commercial discovery on the permit up to a maximum of US$6million and US$3 million at the point of production of first oil from those discoveries, up to a maximum of US$9million.
Cooper Energy will also assume the Permit work program obligations, which includes the shooting of seismic to mature prospects and the drilling of one offshore well.
Cooper Energy will hold an 85% working interest in the Permit and be nominated the Operator. Dyas holds the remaining 15% working interest. Dyas are a private Netherlands based oil and gas exploration and production company that owns a substantial asset base in the North Sea and other regions.
Under the terms of the title agreement ETAP (the Tunisian Government national oil company) have a 50% back-in right to any discoveries. The independent explorers receive a reimbursement of their cumulative exploration costs pro-rata to the ETAP back-in percentage.
The Nabeul Permit lies within a proven petroleum system. Of immediate interested are the Alpha and Gamma leads that are located in the western portion of the Permit. These leads are estimated to contain P50 Prospective Resources of 26 MMBO and 24 MMBO respectively.
The reservoir for both leads is the highly prolific Birsa Sandstone, which is the proven reservoir in the nearby Tazerka, Birsa and Oudna fields. The Birsa Oil Field (15 MMBO P50 Contingent Resources, undeveloped) and Oudna Oil Field (10.3 MMBO, P50 expected ultimate recovery, developed) lie just to the west of the permit and are directly analogous to the Nabeul Permit leads.
Cooper Energy has identified a number of other leads scattered across the permit and these will be matured as part of the block work program.
The plan for the permit is to acquire 3D offshore seismic in 2011 to high-grade the Alpha and Gamma leads into drillable prospects and, after a risk acceptable prospect has been selected and a rig located, drill the selected prospect as soon as possible after 2011.
The transfer of the asset from Capricorn to Cooper Energy is subject to the approval of the Tunisian Government, which the Company hopes will be forthcoming in a timely manner so that exploration in the permit can be progressed quickly.
Michael Scott, Managing Director, noted “We are pleased to have agreed terms and acquired the Nabeul Permit. In 2005 we bid for the Bargou Permit and the Nabeul Permit together. We won Bargou but Nabeul went to another bidder. The block has now come back to us and the acquisition gives us a substantial strategic foothold over the area. We have a number of leads to pursue on the block and our first job will be to acquire 3D seismic over these leads, which we hope to initiate around mid-2011.”
Further details on the permit will be announced at the appropriate time.
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