VAALCO Energy has successfully negotiated an extension to its Etame Marin Exploration Permit in Gabon. Under the extension, VAALCO maintains a 30.35% interest in the operating and exploration rights to approximately 759,000 acres offshore Gabon surrounding the Etame field to July 2014, three years beyond the original expiration date of July 2011.
Robert Gerry, Chairman and CEO, stated, "As demonstrated by the exploration and development wells we plan to drill in the coming year, we believe the Etame Marin block offers a number of potential opportunities to add to production and reserves. This extension will ensure we have ample time to fully evaluate additional leads and prospects on the Etame Permit that we have identified."
In exchange for the extended permit, VAALCO and its partners paid $4.5 million to the Republic of Gabon, $1.35 million of which was paid by VAALCO. The partners also agreed to a drill an additional exploration well, bringing the total required under the permit to two exploration wells, and to acquire additional 3-D seismic data, which is expected to be acquired in 2010.
VAALCO operates and owns its 30.35% interest in the Etame Exploration Permit through its subsidiary VAALCO Gabon Etame, Inc. Other partners are ADDAX Petroleum Etame, Inc. (33.9%), Sasol Petroleum Etame Limited (30.0%), Sojitz Etame Limited (3.23%), and PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (2.52%).
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