SOCO International plc announced that its subsidiary, SOCO Exploration and Production Congo S.A. ("SOCO EPC"), has entered into a farm-in agreement to acquire a 29.4% working interest in the Marine XIV Block, offshore the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), from PA Resources Congo SA. SOCO EPC will also become the Operator of the Block. PA Congo will retain a 12.5% interest and the national oil company, Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo, will have a 15% carried interest. The remaining interests will be held by fellow farm-in participants and SOCO's Marine XI joint venture partners, Raffia Oil SARL (21.55%) and a subsidiary of Lundin Petroleum (21.55%).
The three farm-in participants will pay their respective shares towards PA Congo's past costs, one hundred percent of the costs for a 3D seismic program to be acquired during the first exploration period and one hundred percent of the dry hole well costs for the first well to be drilled on the Marine XIV Block, subject to a maximum cost, in total, of US $30 million. Additional costs will be paid should the farm-in participants participate beyond the first exploration period. All other costs will be borne by all participants according to their paying interests.
The Marine XIV Block is located in the Lower Congo Basin in shallow water, adjacent to the Company's Marine XI Block, and will complement SOCO's activity both operationally and technically. The Block comprises three discontinuous sections located in water depths ranging up to 110 meters and covers approximately 265 square kilometers. Previous exploration activity on the Block has resulted in some oil discoveries.
The assignment of interests is subject to approval of the appropriate regulatory authorities of the Government of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).
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