LONDON – Sterling Energy (AIM: SEY) has issued a further update on Ntem concession offshore Cameroon.
The concession is in its First Renewal Period. Following the drilling of last year’s unsuccessful Bamboo-1 well, a review of remaining prospectivity indicated that the greatest potential lay in an area subject to overlapping maritime border claims by the Republic of Cameroon and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Last May the joint venture notified Cameroon’s Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures that they had declared force majeure pending formal resolution of the border claims. SNH advised, however, that Cameroon does not recognize that any situation of force majeure exists in the Ntem permit, and therefore refused to formally acknowledge the declaration.
Sterling has received written notice from SNH that it considers the First Renewal Period expired on April 22, 2015, and that the Ntem concession has therefore lapsed. But Sterling claims that the concession’s terms mean that the declaration remains valid.
As such, the company insists, the First Renewal Period, having been suspended since May last year, is not due to expire until 10 months after the lifting of force majeure.
Sterling’s CEO said the company remained committed to collaborating with SNH and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Technological Development of Cameroon to determine the forward plan for the concession.