Pioneer Awarded Interest in Deepwater Nigeria

Nigeria OPL 320
(Click to Enlarge)
Pioneer Natural Resources has joined Oranto Petroleum and Orandi Petroleum in an existing production sharing contract on Block 320 in deepwater Nigeria gaining exploration rights from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The 442,000 acre (1,790 square km) block is located about 90 miles (150 km) southeast of Lagos in water depths ranging between 6,900 to 8,900 feet (2,100 to 2,700 m). Pioneer's subsidiary is the technical operator of the block with a 51% working interest. Oranto Petroleum and Orandi Petroleum Limited, Nigerian corporations, hold 32% and 17%, respectively.

Under terms of an existing Production Sharing Contract, Pioneer and the other participants will carry out a work program that includes acquiring a minimum of 1,790 square kilometers of 3-D seismic data and drilling at least one exploration well by February of 2007.

Scott Sheffield, Pioneer's Chairman and CEO stated, "We've targeted West Africa as an area of focus for our exploration program. These exploration rights on Block 320 offer us a unique opportunity to participate in the upside potential of deepwater Nigeria." Chris Cheatwood, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Exploration, added, "Existing 2-D seismic on the block indicates the presence of large channel systems similar to those of the large nearby fields, Erha and Bosi. By acquiring new 3-D seismic data, we should be able to more confidently quantify the reserve potential and risk prior to drilling the first well."

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