La Cortez Energy has entered into a separate private farm-in agreement for a 20% Net Working Interest in the Maranta exploration and production (“E&P”) block with Emerald Energy, subject to ANH approval.
The Maranta block covers an extension of 36,608 hectares in the foreland of the Putumayo Basin in Southwest Colombia. This block is contiguous to Gran Tierra's Costayaco oil discovery in the Chaza Block. Emerald signed a contract for this block with the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos (the “ANH”), Colombia's hydrocarbon regulatory agency, on September 12th, 2006. Emerald completed the first phase exploratory program for the Maranta block by reprocessing 40 Km of 2D seismic and shooting 71 Km of new 2D seismic, identifying several promising prospects and leads. To complete the next exploratory phase, Emerald plans to initiate the drilling of an exploratory well into the Mirto prospect in the block during the first quarter of 2009. The targets are the Villeta and the Caballos formations.
Under the terms of the farm-in agreement, La Cortez will partially carry Emerald on first phase sunk costs and the first exploratory well in 2009. After complying with the initial carry, La Cortez will earn a 20% Net Working Interest in the block.
After La Cortez has complied with its farm-in obligations, Emerald will submit a request to the ANH to assign the agreed upon participation interest in the block to La Cortez.
Andres Gutierrez, President and CEO of La Cortez commented on the announcement stating, "We continue to build a substantial acreage base in the Putumayo Basin where we see tremendous value to be unlocked. We believe our partner Emerald to be a world-class operator and an excellent long-term strategic business partner for La Cortez. We remain attentive to other opportunities in the different basins in Colombia and in Peru, to build our production base and benefit from upside exploration."
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