ExxonMobil shelves plan for offshore Madagascar wildcat

Offshore staff

LONDONSterling Energy and its partner Pura Vida Mauritius expect to complete acquisition of a 3D seismic survey offshore Madagascar during 2Q.

CGG will acquire 1,250 sq km (482 sq mi) of 3D data over an area of the Ambilobe block deemed prospective at Cretaceous and Tertiary levels following a review of vintage 2D data. The partners have secured the required permits for the new program.

Resultant processed time-migrated data should be available for interpretation at the end of this year, followed by depth-migrated data in early 2016. The results will influence the “drill-or-drop” decision required by July 2016.

Sterling is a partner to ExxonMobil in the Ampasindava block in the Majunga basin offshore Madagascar, where the production-sharing contract (PSC) is in the third phase of the exploration period.

The remaining minimum work commitment is for one exploration well. However, the partnership has decided that the a well on the Sifaka prospect at this stage carries too high a technical and commercial risk, with a strong chance of poor reservoir quality and an increased phase risk for gas over oil.

They have therefore engaged with state regulator OMNIS to review their next steps.

Offshore Mauritania, Sterling is a partner to Tullow Oil in the shallow-water block C-3 in the Nouakchott sub-basin.

Reinterpretation of exploration prospects following Cairn’s deepwater SNE-1 discovery to the south off Senegal has highlighted a possible extension of an Albian clastic play into the C-3 PSC.

Following the recent acquisition of new 2D data, the partners plan to focus on interpretation and integration of regional data this year before entering Phase 2. This carries a commitment to acquire 700 sq km (270 sq mi) of 3D seismic and to drill one exploration well.


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