Essar Awarded Vietnamese Offshore Block

Essar Exploration & Production Limited (EEPL), Mauritius, has been awarded an offshore block in Vietnam's prolific Song Hong basin.

The block, which covers approximately 5,925 square kilometers, was awarded under a recent licensing round where seven offshore blocks were on offer. It is a shallow water block with average water depth of 60 to 70 meters.

The minimum work program for the block consists of detailed geological and geophysical studies, reprocessing of selected existing 2D seismic data, acquisition, processing and interpretation of fresh 3D seismic of 1000 sq km, and drilling of two exploratory wells with 3500 m target depth. The exploration phase is estimated to last five years and the investment for this program will be approximately US$ 60 million.

Essar Oil is in the process of consolidating its upstream Exploration & Production activities under its proposed subsidiary, EEPL. This will help build a strong, fully integrated oil company with upstream, refining and downstream marketing activities. Once this exercise is completed, Essar Oil will have eight Oil & Gas blocks and one Coal Bed Methane block. This includes onshore blocks in Madagascar; an offshore block in Nigeria; on shore block in Mehsana, Gujarat; a Coal Bed Methane block in Raniganj, West Bengal; the offshore field Ratna & R Series and two onshore blocks in Assam.