Sinopec secures drillship for Nigeria-Sao Tome JDZ

Mar 08, 2007 01:00 AM

Equator Exploration Limited said that Sinopec, as operator on behalf of the participants in Block 2 of the Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone (JDZ), has entered into an agreement with Aban Abraham Pte for the provision of the Aban Abraham deep water drillship to drill a well in the second half of 2008.
The agreement, which has been entered into jointly with Addax Petroleum, has secured the Aban Abraham to drill up to ten wells in total. These wells will be shared across those blocks in which Addax and Sinopec respectively operate.

The agreement contemplates five firm well slots and five optional well slots. Under a separate rig sharing agreement, Sinopec will be allocated one of the firm well slots that will fulfil the commitment well as agreed under the Block 2 Production Sharing Contract.
Additionally, and as required, a share of the optional slots may be available. The day-rate for the rig is a maximum of $ 410,000 per day.

The JDZ was created through an agreement between the governments of Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe in 2001 whereby revenues derived from the JDZ will be shared 60:40 between these governments respectively. Block 2 was awarded to Equator and the other participants in March 2006.
Subsequent to a farm-in to the interest of another participant, A & Hatman, Equator has a 9 % interest, of which 0.25 % is allocated to another partner. The other participants are Sinopec, ERHC Energy and Addax Petroleum, who together have 65 %, ONGC (13.5 %), A & Hatman (2.5 %), Amber Petroleum (5 %) and Foby Engineering (5 %).

In its news release of 11 January 2007, the company reported the Best Estimate Prospective Resources for its net interest as prepared by Netherland, Sewell & Associates.
On an un-risked basis net to Equator they are 121 mm barrels of oil and 168 bn cf of gas, while on a risked basis they are 32 mm barrels of oil and 50 bn cf of gas.

Aban Abraham Pte is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aban Offshore Limited, publicly quoted on Indian stock exchanges. The Aban Abraham is a deep water drill ship currently undergoing extensive refurbishment and modification at the Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore.
When refurbishment is completed later in 2007 the drill ship will be capable of drilling in water depths of up to 2,100 meters (6,900 feet) having been upgraded from second generation to fourth generation capability. Once commissioned, the Aban Abraham will undertake drilling operations for a third party operator before starting drilling operations for Sinopec and Addax Petroleum.

Equator Exploration Limited engages in the exploration and development of oil and gas projects in highly prospective West Africa. Equator's objective is to build a diversified portfolio of exploration, appraisal and production assets in the region.
The company has exploration interests in the territorial waters of Nigeria and of Sao Tome & Principe as well as in the Joint Development Zone between the two countries.

Source: Equator Exploration Limited
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