Statoil farms into licenses on Turkey’s Thrace basin

Statoil Holding Netherlands BV, a wholly owned unit of Statoil ASA, has agreed to take 50% interest in two licenses in the Thrace region of the European northwestern portion of Turkey from Calgary-based Valeura Energy Inc.

The deal encompasses the exploration of deeper formations below 2,500 m where overpressure is expected on Valeura’s two wholly owned and operated Banarli licenses. Valeura will keep the remaining 50%, and retain 100% of shallow formations above 2,500 m.

The work program in the licenses consists of several phases, the first of which includes the commitment of drilling one exploration well, with planned spudding late this year or in early 2017. The exploration phase will test unconventional gas potential in the deep parts of the basin.

The licenses cover an area of 540 sq km in proximity to existing infrastructure in a region where gas has been produced since the 1920s. Earlier this year, Valeura brought on stream its Bati Gurgen-1 well from the Osmancik formation on the Banarli license (OGJ Online, May 16, 2016).

“Entry into the northwestern part of Turkey is in accordance with our exploration strategy to build a diverse portfolio of low commitment frontier opportunities with impact potential,” said Erling Vagnes, senior vice-president for Statoil’s exploration activities in the Northern Hemisphere.

The agreement is pending governmental approval, which is expected by the end of September.

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