Shell to Begin Seismic Work in Libya's Sirte Basin

Shell EP Libya GmbH, together with its partner the National Oil Corporation of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (NOC) started seismic operations in the onshore Sirte Basin this week. The work follows a successful tender process and will result in one of the largest seismic programs for the Shell Group in 2006.

Contracts have been awarded for the deployment of four seismic crews with a phased start up between November 2005 and March 2006. Seismic acquisition will be supplemented with a large aeromagnetic campaign, also planned to start in this month.

By the time the work is complete in mid 2007, Shell will have acquired nearly 8000 km of 2D and 3300 square km of 3D seismic, as well as 68,000 km of aeromagnetic data. Drilling is planned to start in the second half of 2007.

Shell's Executive Vice President Exploration, Matthias Bichsel, said: "The large work scope and aggressive pace of acquisition demonstrate Shell's commitment and enthusiasm for its exploration program in Libya's northern Sirte Basin. This marks the start of activities on the ground for this major integrated gas exploration and production project and the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership with Libya in the development of a state-of-the-art LNG industry."

The first seismic crew, operated by BGP International Libya Inc, has established its base camp and started operations in the field. The second crew from PGS Exploration Ltd is due to start in late November, followed by crews from WesternGeco Overseas Inc in December and Veritas DGC Ltd in February 2006. The large aeromagnetic surveying campaign, awarded to Worley Parsons Geo-Physical Exploration and local partner, the National Bureau for Research and Development, is due to start operations from the Marsa El Brega airport in late November.

In May 2005, Shell signed an agreement to work together with NOC to develop a modern LNG industry, and explore for and develop gas. The project incorporates exploration in five blocks comprising a total area of some 20,000 sq. km and rejuvenation and upgrade of the existing Marsa El Brega LNG plant, which is operated by the Sirte Oil Company.


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