Ophir announced that a subsidiary has entered into agreement with Ras Al Khaimah Gas Tanzania Ltd (RAKGas) to acquire a 70% interest and Operatorship of a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) over an area designated as the East Pande Block in Tanzania. Completion of this agreement is subject to standard Government consents.
The East Pande license lies in the coastal region of southern Tanzania covering an offshore and onshore area in excess of 7,500km2. The block lies immediately to the west of Blocks 1, 3 and 4 in which Ophir has a 40% interest. Ophir has recently drilled the first deepwater wells offshore Tanzania resulting in three significant gas discoveries. The maximum water depth in the East Pande block is approximately 2,000m. The PSA was awarded to RAKGas in 2006.
In late 2010 RAKGas acquired approximately 1,800 line kilometers of 2D seismic data in the offshore section of the block. The data indicates the continuous nature of the geology between East Pande and the prospective Ophir acreage to the east. Subject to partner and Government consent, Ophir intends to acquire a new 3D seismic survey in the offshore section of the block.
Under the terms of the farm in agreement, Ophir will fund 100% of the cost of the 3D seismic survey and will reimburse certain back-costs. In the event that Ophir elects to drill, RAKGas will be carried through the drilling of the first exploration well.
Ophir and RAKGas are also partners in the Berbera PSA in Somaliland.
Ophir's New Business Director Jonathan Taylor commented, "We are delighted to extend our partnership with RAKGas to the East Pande project and to further deepen our relationship with the Government of Tanzania. With our recent exploration discoveries in Blocks 1 and 4, immediately adjacent to East Pande, we are well placed to build on this success and undertake a fast-track exploration campaign to pursue the petroleum potential of this exciting project."
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