Manas announced the commencement of the second seismic survey on CJSC Somon Oil Company's WEST and NORTH WEST licenses in the Republic of Tajikistan. This program includes up to 774 km of 2D seismic survey, which up to 115 km will be acquired over the WEST license and up to 659 km will be acquired over the NORTH WEST license. An additional 24 km will extend across the Kyrgyz-Tajik border into Manas' Tuzluk license in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Somon Oil, a 90% owned subsidiary of DWM Petroleum AG, signed the agreement for Seismic Services with the Tajikistan branch of the Kazakh company, DANK Scientific Industrial Firm ("DANK"), on June 29, 2011. DANK has extensive experience in the hydrocarbon exploration industry performing seismic work in the larger Caspian region. DANK also performed Somon's seismic survey in 2010. The seismic work will be conducted with vibrators, airguns (a significant volume of the data is to be acquired across the Karakum Reservoir, for the first time), with the remainder utilizing dynamite as a source.
This seismic survey is being carried out to improve the quality of the existing prospect data, and hence increase the chances of success of the exploratory wells to be drilled upon completion and interpretation of the new seismic data. The first well is anticipated to be spudded at the end of the first quarter of 2012.
Santos International Ventures Pty Ltd ("Santos International")., a wholly owned subsidiary of Santos Ltd., has an option to farm-in to Somon Oil pursuant to an option agreement signed between DWM Petroleum AG, Santos International (and others) on December 10, 2007. The Production Sharing Agreement has yet to be ratified and remains one of the hurdles for Santos exercising the option. Prior to exercise of that option, Santos International has agreed to provide preliminary discretionary funding towards the costs of the abovementioned seismic, although binding fully funded commitments are not intended to arise until exercise of the option. Once exercised, it is intended that (subject to further agreement on terms), Santos International will fully fund the seismic survey and that these costs will be credited to the total funding commitments to be agreed.
Somon has also commenced the process of obtaining all required permits to commence drilling operations in the Chkalovsk area (WEST license) as well as in the West Supetau area (NORTH WEST license).
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