Artumas Provides African Operations Update
Artumas Group Inc. has concession rights and interests in over 25,000 sq km on the Rovuma Delta Basin in East Africa. The Mnazi Bay exploration and production concession covers a 756 sq km area in south eastern Tanzania. Contiguous to this is Artumas' 49.3% participating interest in the Onshore Block in north eastern Mozambique comprised of a 15,000 sq km exploration and production concession with an 8.5% working interest in the 10,000 sq km Offshore Area One Block, operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.
Rovuma Delta Basin: Geochemical Analysis Update
Geochemical analysis conducted in various stages over the later part of 2007 and as recently as January 2008, by Core Laboratories and GHGeochem, has provided the following new information regarding the exploration potential of the Rovuma Basin:Oil samples collected from Mnazi Bay well tests and rock samples obtained from drilling operations in mid 2007, have confirmed the potential for a new oil-prone system in the Rovuma Basin. This new analysis increases the chances of finding commercial quantities of oil in the Rovuma Delta Basin as a whole.
The geochemical analysis has determined the presence of certain geochemical compounds that are key "finger prints" and are specifically associated with oil prone source rocks deposited in geologically young depositional settings of Tertiary age. These finger print compounds indentified in the oil samples analyzed, such as a high pristine\phytane ratio, and an abundance of aromatic hydrocarbons, confirm the presence of a Tertiary source rock. This conclusion is further supported by the presence of an additional finger print compound known as Oleanane, which is a specific "marker compound" found in oils derived from a Tertiary deltaic source rock.
Further analysis of rock cuttings derived from drilling operations, over the Tertiary section has revealed significantly thick intervals with a high organic content which has the potential to be a generator of liquid hydrocarbons. Analysis of the rock samples also revealed the presence of another "finger print" organic compound know as Carotane which is linked to source rock depositional environments associated with oil prone source rocks.
Compared to earlier evaluations which favoured a gas prone region, the results of these ongoing studies now suggest that an oil-prone source rock is likely to be present within the northern area of Artumas' Onshore Block in Mozambique, and most likely extending into the offshore area.
New analysis of gas samples confirm that deeper potential source rocks in the Rovuma Basin and within the Cretaceous and Jurassic sections have thermogenically generated significant quantities of gas.
As a result of the new geochemistry analysis, the seismic survey lay out has been designed to focus on the most prospective oil prone northern area of the Rovuma Basin thereby, enhancing the chance for exploration success.
Mozambique: Seismic Operations Update
Current geological evaluation of the Artumas Onshore Block acreage, within the Rovuma Delta Basin, has identified several highly prospective reservoir types. In total, over 50 leads have been mapped on the Onshore Block. Artumas will be acquiring a minimum of 750 km's of new 2-D seismic data in Mozambique.
On 19 December 2007, Artumas' partners Anadarko and The Republic of Mozambique's national oil company, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) approved our 2008 work program and budget for a 750 km seismic survey.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report covering the seismic operations area has been submitted to Mozambique authorities.
Tender documents have been prepared and bids for the line clearing operations are expected in early February 2008. This hand cut method of line clearing operation, demining if and where mines are located, will maximize employment and economic benefits to the region while meeting the highest environmental compliance.
Following a competitive tender process, a seismic contractor will be selected shortly. Seismic data acquisition is expected to commence in June 2008, with program completion targeted for end-November 2008. Data processing and interpretation will be an ongoing process beginning in August.
Artumas has initiated preparatory operations in the area of seismic acquisition, surveying roads, bridges and camp. Infrastructure upgrades will be undertaken where required, ensuring ongoing benefit to the local communities is provided.
Current geological evaluation of the Artumas Onshore Block acreage within the Rovuma Delta Basin has identified several highly prospective reservoir types at multiple horizons. Within each reservoir type, several potential drilling locations have been mapped. In total, over 50 leads have been mapped on the Onshore Block.
In Offshore Area One Block, a 3,300 square kilometer, 3D seismic acquisition program has been approved for the deep water area. This is to be complemented by approximately 1,000 kilometers of 2D seismic, planned for the shallow/transitional zones in the Block. CGG Veritas has been contracted to undertake the 3D seismic acquisition. The seismic vessel has arrived in Maputo with the acquisition program beginning immediately.
Mozambique: Play Analysis Update
Rose and Associates is now undertaking a resource and play assessment evaluation on Artumas' behalf to determine the resource potential in the Onshore Block and the shallow/transitional areas of the Offshore Area One Block. This will complement and update the play analysis released in October 2007, regarding the crude oil resource potential in the deep water area of Offshore Area One Block. The results of this study are expected to be ready for release in March 2008.
Tanzania: Commercialization Initiatives Update
Phase 1 Pre-Feasibility analysis undertaken for the proposed 300 MW power generation and transmission interconnection project, collectively termed the VLPP, has demonstrated the commercial and economic feasibility of this development. Phase 2 analyses is underway, further examining capital and operating costs for the generation assets, assessing the economics and routing challenges for the Mtwara-Dar es Salaam transmission interconnection, and examining the environmental aspects of the overall development through an Environmental Impact Scoping Assessment. The Phase 2 Pre-Feasibility results are targeted for end-February 2008, and will be input to a final decision regarding project sanction and financing. The VLPP has been incorporated within the TANESCO Tanzania Electricity Master Plan update, which is to be released in first-half 2008.
Artumas is maintaining its focus on the marine compressed natural gas (CNG) export project, moving natural gas from Mtwara to Mombasa. Ongoing monitoring and geopolitical assessment of the political turmoil in Kenya suggests that the recent unrest should not impact the timing of the CNG export development.
Within the Lindi-Mtwara region, the Mtwara Energy Project has seen a 24% load growth in its first year of operations. Artumas continues to receive inquiries regarding gas and power sales to industrial customers looking to expand and/or locate activities in proximity to Mtwara energy supply and harbor facilities. The identified sources of potential load growth range from cement manufacture to refrigeration, fisheries, agricultural processing, and cassava-to-ethanol manufacture.
On January 26, 2008, Artumas President & CEO, Stephen W. Mason and Anthony E. Reinsch, Executive VP met with His Excellency, Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with the President the results of a joint Government of Tanzania and Artumas analysis of alternative commercialization options for monetizing the natural gas resource of Mnazi Bay Concession. The Study recommended the VLPP and marine CNG export projects as the priority developments for natural gas utilization. As a result of the meeting, the President provided his full support and endorsement for the Projects and advised Artumas to move forward with both initiatives, targeting 2010 for start up of commercial operations.
Tanzania: Mnazi Bay Concession Seismic Operations Update
The Mnazi Bay exploration and production concession covers a 756 sq km area in south eastern Tanzania, bordering Mozambique and is part of the north eastern area of the Rovuma Delta Basin.Through exploration activities executed over the 2005-2007 period, Artumas has acquired and interpreted approximately 550 kilometers of 2D land and marine seismic data over the Mnazi Bay Concession area. This has added to the 475 kilometers of 2D data previously acquired during the 1980's and subsequently reprocessed by Artumas in 2005.
Artumas will be acquiring 103 square kilometers of 3D seismic data over the Mnazi Bay and Msimbati Gas Fields on the Mnazi Bay Concession in 2008. Approval for this program has been secured from the Tanzania Petroleum Development Company (TPDC) and Artumas personnel are currently in-country to commence operations.
To allow a greater understanding of the future exploration potential in the Rovuma Delta Basin, a 21 kilometer seismic tie line between the Mnazi Bay Gas Field and Artumas' Onshore Block exploration acreage in Mozambique is being considered to facilitate a transfer of regional knowledge between the Tanzanian and Mozambican assets.
It is expected that seismic line preparation will commence in February and data acquisition is expected to start in March, with final seismic data acquisition completed in the second quarter of 2008. Final data processing, interpretation and mapping are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2008, allowing future drilling locations to be firmed up during the fourth quarter of 2008.
The required EIA for seismic acquisition has been completed and submitted for approval to the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) in Tanzania. Approval has been secured from NEMC to proceed with line clearing for the seismic program.
The Mnazi Bay Concession gas appraisal and development drilling program is planned to re-commence in 4Q:2008. Subject to additional seismic data analysis, five potential development well locations have been evaluated In the Mnazi Bay Gas field. Two appraisal wells may also be drilled to prove additional gas resources reservoired in sands on the periphery of the main Mnazi Bay Field. An exploratory well on a separate structure may also be drilled prior to the planned release of the drilling rig and mobilization to Artumas' drilling program in Mozambique.
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