OPL Block 256 was acquired by Devon and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) in a mini-bid round in 2002. Block 256 is located approximately 200 kilometers off of the coast of Nigeria in water depths ranging from 1,500 to 2,800 meters. The block is 2,550 square kilometers (631,000 acres) and in gross terms represents an area approximately three- quarters of the size of Spinnaker's entire deepwater holdings in the Gulf of Mexico. If the transfer of interest is approved, Spinnaker's gross deepwater acreage position would total approximately 1.5 million acres. Spinnaker also owns 723,000 gross acres on the shelf of the Gulf of Mexico.
A recent 3-D seismic survey covering OPL Block 256 has been acquired by Spinnaker and portions of the survey have been reprocessed. Drilling of the first exploratory well, the Tari #1, has recently commenced. A total of three commitment wells (including the Tari #1) will be drilled on the block; two of these operations will most likely occur in 2005.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Roger Jarvis, said of the transaction "Spinnaker's commitment to participate in OPL Block 256 with Devon is the culmination of a long-term effort to define opportunities that compete with those that we see in the Gulf of Mexico. This is an outstanding position in a province with world-class hydrocarbon potential. A number of large prospects have been defined on the block, and we are excited about the implications for Spinnaker in the near and longer term. We have the personnel and expertise internally to build a business in West Africa that complements and adds to our very exciting activities in the Gulf."
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