Gippsland Waiting on Government Approval for Madagascar Offshore Acreage

Gippsland Offshore is awaiting final sign-off and the Presidential decree for its awarded acreage offshore Madagascar in the Cap D'Ambre area.

Offshore Madagascar is part of the uncer-explored East African margin that is generating considerable interest from oil exploration companies following recent discoveries in the region. Since 2004, Madagascar petroleum exploration levels have increased with OMNIS (the State authority) having signed PSC's with ExxonMobil, Vanco Energy, Sterling Energy, Vuna Energy, Aminex and Tullow.

The Cape D'Ambre bid area encloses 16,000km2. The large areas will be explored over an 8-year period with drill or drop well obligations in the final phase of exploration. In line with Gippsland's strategy to fast track the exploration and targeting process, the JV will be starting both the airborne geophysical and seismic data acquisition as soon as practical after the signing of the PSC.

To date, there is an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil in the yet undeveloped tar sands and heavy oil accumulations on the island's west coast. With only 10 exploration wells having been drilled in the offshore basins, the area is truly under-explored. The accompanying map shows the award area and the petroleum occurrences on the island.