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SacOil says survey in Block III, Congo completed

SacOil says survey in Congo block completed

Completion of the survey takes Total E&P RDC a step closer to ascertaining the presence of oil or gas in the area SACOIL on Wednesday announced that Total E&P RDC, the energy multinational and operator of Block III, Albertine Graben, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has successfully conducted an airborne gravity and magnetic survey on the northern part of the Block III area, outside the Virunga National Park.

The completion of the survey takes Total a step closer to ascertaining the presence of oil or gas in the area. Discovery of hydrocarbons in the block will boost SacOil’s balance sheet. SacOil owns a 12.5% interest in Block III. Preliminary processing of the Block III gravity and magnetic data broadly confirms the trend observed in the adjacent concessions in Uganda. “It is expected that more detailed processing will identify features similar to those that were found to be oil-bearing in Uganda,” SacOil said.

SacOil CEO Robin Vela has in the past said there is a huge potential in the block because of oil and gas discoveries in Uganda which he says suggest that Block III is in an attractive hydrocarbon prospective location. Until now, exploration in the area has taken place within the borders of Uganda.

SacOil said planning a two-dimensional seismic survey, to map potential oil and gas prospects, was under way and Total had initiated a tender process.”Subject to the positive identification of structures that may contain oil and gas, Total intends to drill an exploration well in order to determine the presence of oil or gas and the potential commercial viability of Block III,” SacOil said.

In terms of the farm-in and joint venture agreements on Block III, Total bears all the costs associated with the acquisition of the airborne gravity and magnetic survey and will carry SacOil through the seismic survey, any subsequent exploration and appraisal wells, up to a final investment decision. As a result, SacOil will not be required to contribute any further capital to this project until the final investment decision.

Block III is 66.66% owned by Total, 18.34% by Semliki Energy (a company incorporated in the Congo), with the remaining 15% belonging to La Congolaise Des Hydrocarbures, the state-owned oil firm of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In addition to the 12.5% interest in Block III, SacOil also has a 20% interest in OPL 233, an offshore oil block in Nigeria’s Delta region. OPL 233 is scheduled to start producing next year, with a minimum production of 10,000 barrels per day. SacOil also has a 20% interest in OPL 281, an onshore block in the western Delta region of Nigeria. Oil extraction from 281 is expected in 2014. It is expected to produce in excess of 30,000 barrels per day.

Siseko Njobeni (BusinessLive)

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