FAR Receives Extension on Offshore Senegal Blocks

FAR has received advice from the Minister of Energy for the Republic of Senegal confirming a one year extension to the First Renewal Period under the Contract for Exploration and Hydrocarbon Production Sharing covering the Rufisque and Sangomar and Sangomar Deep offshore blocks.

According to the Ministerial advice the extension granted to FAR will be for a one year period commencing from the date of a formal Presidential Decree to follow (as distinct from the current license expiry date of November 22, 2009).

FAR is Operator of three offshore Blocks and holds a 90 percent interest with the balance being held by Petrosen (Senegal's National Oil Company). The extension and large working interest of 90 percent will place FAR in a strong position with the continuing farm-out process following Shell's decision not to farm-in to the Blocks.

FAR has provided data packages to several large international exploration and production companies; detailed technical reviews are now in progress. To enable this process to continue and a farm-in partner or partners secured for the drilling of an exploration well, the co-venturers including FAR and Petrosen, requested the current contractual period of the license be extended by one year.

The successful application for the extension had been based on the following:

  • interest from industry participants with access to rigs and proven capacity to operate deepwater wells;
  • the joint venture has met all their obligations under the first renewal period and have spent in excess of US$21 million being nearly three times the minimum amount specified under the Contract;
  • in doing so the JV has acquired one of the largest 3D surveys off the northwest coast of Africa covering an area exceeding 2000 square kilometers resulting in a high quality data set that has been processed into a world class seismic volume leading to the identification of several plays and drillable prospects together with a CSEM study funded by Shell;
  • work has been accomplished as rapidly as possible with due care and attention to detail thus resulting in the interest currently shown by E & P companies.

FAR is seeking cost recovery and a free carry through the drilling of one exploratory well.