Afren announced that the requisite approvals on the assignment and development of the Ebok field, located offshore South East Nigeria, have been received and the forward drilling program confirmed.
As announced on March 31, 2008, Afren entered into its sixth indigenous partnership in Nigeria, with Oriental Energy Resources Limited, to jointly develop Ebok. Oriental was awarded a 100% interest and operatorship of Ebok in May 2007 by the NNPC / Mobil Joint Venture. The farm-out has been structured such that the field benefits from the Nigerian Marginal Field Fiscal and Tax Regime.
Assignment Approvals Received
Afren has received the consent of the Honorable Minister for Energy and the NNPC / Mobil Joint Venture for the assignment of a 40% participating interest in Ebok to Afren.
Forward Drilling Program
Afren and Oriental have secured a contract for the Trident IV jackup rig and plan to commence appraisal drilling in Q4 2008. The principal objectives of the program are to establish the areal distribution of the reservoir properties and to acquire the full data suite, in particular fluid samples, which are essential for the Ebok Field development planning. To this end, the Ebok Partners will conduct up to two Drill Stem Tests with full sand control to determine the rate and properties of the oil tested and will also run an extensive wireline logging program.
Based on a successful outcome to the appraisal phase, Afren will submit a Field Development Plan (FDP) to the Nigerian authorities in the second quarter of 2009 with a view, subject to regulatory approvals and equipment availability, to commence development operations thereafter.
Osman Shahenshah, Chief Executive of Afren, commented, "Our partnership with Oriental is in perfect alignment with our strategy to partner with indigenous companies; their established Nigerian presence, coupled with our operational and technical expertise, creates a solid partnership in developing the Ebok field.
"With the field set to come into production as early as 2010, our portfolio has gained further strength and momentum following Afren's first organic oil production from the Okoro Setu Project earlier this year. We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with Oriental and the Majors in Nigeria."
Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, Chairman of Oriental, added, "We are delighted to continue to evolve our strategic partnership with Afren. The quick turn around in the necessary preparation for appraisal drilling is a testament to their strong technical skills and solid understanding of Nigerian oil and gas operations. Together our combined technical teams have all the requisite skill-sets and local experience to assure our venture's success. We also look forward to continuing to develop our strategic partnership and together accessing future opportunities in the region."
Ebok is an undeveloped oil field, 50 km offshore in 135 ft of water in Nigeria's prolific south eastern producing area. The field is located close to several producing NNPC / Mobil JV fields and 55 km south-east of Mobil's onshore QIT Terminal. The field was discovered by the NNPC / Mobil JV in 1968 (M-QQ1 (Ebok-1)), and two subsequent appraisal wells were drilled in 1970 (Ebok-2 and Ebok-3). A total of 271 ft. (83m) of net oil pay was encountered in Ebok-1 in four sands between 2,600 ft. (800m) and 3,600 ft. (1,100m). None of the zones were production tested, although a fluid sample of 24 degree API oil was recovered from the Ebok-1 well.
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