Shell Adds Deepwater Acreage Offshore French Guiana

Shell has acquired a 33% interest in the Guyane Maritime Permit, approximately 150 kilometers off the coast of French Guiana, from an affiliate of Tullow Oil plc. The permit area covers approximately 32,000 square kilometers situated in water 2,000-3,000 meters deep.

"This purchase adds quality acreage to our deep water portfolio in the Americas," said David Lawrence, Shell's Executive Vice President Exploration and Commercial. "It allows us to apply technical and operating expertise built up over decades of pioneering work in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere."

The acquisition requires the approval of French authorities. It includes an option to acquire an additional 12% stake at a later date.

The partners in the permit area are Tullow Oil plc's affiliate Hardman Petroleum France SAS (64.5% share and the operator); Shell Exploration and Production France SAS (33% share); and Northpet Investments Ltd (2.5%). The partners are currently conducting a 3-dimensional seismic research program covering 3,000 square kilometres of the permit area.