Madagascar: Total seeks extension at Bemolanga

By OGJ editors
-- Total SA of France has sought a year’s extension of the 3102 Bemolanga license in Madagascar.

A decision could be forthcoming by mid-June. Total sought the extension May 20 from the Office for National Mining and Strategic Industries, press reports indicated.

Total assumed operation of Bemolanga in 2008 with a 60% interest after obtaining a farmout from Madagascar Oil SA (OGJ Online, Sept. 17, 2008). The firms estimated a target of 10 billion bbl of 10° gravity bitumen in place on the license.

Total, which drilled 140 shallow wells to the Amboloando formation at 200 m to characterize the bitumen resource at Bemolanga, concluded that mining/extraction will be more difficult there than in the Canadian oil sands, Jacques Marraud des Grottes, Total senior vice-president E&P for Africa, said earlier this year.

Total indicated it would explore for conventional oil if the license were extended. Madagascar Oil has said an additional play exists in Isalo I sandstones below 300 m, to which 16 wells were drilled in 2009.

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