Gazprom Neft has completed 3-D seismic survey work on the Equatorial Guinea shelf (block T) in the Niger Delta river basin. The seismic studies covered around 300 square kilometres of the block’s area, which meets the company’s commitments regarding the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) under whose conditions the project is being carried out.
The tests were carried out by the ship Nordic, in collaboration with the Geoex and Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) geophysics companies, and with the participation of representatives from Gazprom Neft and Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy.
Gazprom Neft, along with the Russian geophysics company Largeo, will be responsible for the processing of geological information obtained from the results of the work, and also the interpretation of historical seismic data for two blocks (T and U). An independent appraisal of the geological model created following interpretation of the data will be carried out by the international company RPS Energy, which has considerable experience in geological modelling in the Gulf of Guinea.
An analysis of the geological information is planned to be completed by the end of 2011/start of 2012, after which the parties to the PSA will make a decision regarding the advisability of drilling exploratory wells in the blocks.
“Gazprom Neft is successively building up a portfolio of international assets, which by 2020 should account for around 10% of consolidated hydrocarbon production. In addition, the implementation of these projects in Equatorial Guinea will help extend the company’s experience of working on offshore deposits, including working as an operator”, said Boris Zilbermints, Gazprom Neft’s Deputy CEO for Exploration and Production.
Gazprom Neft is carrying out the project for the development of two offshore blocks – T (located in the Niger Delta river basin) and U (in the Rio Muni basin) in Equatorial Guinea – under the conditions of a PSA. The agreement was signed in June 2010 with Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy and the National Oil Company of Equatorial Guinea GEPetrol, and was ratified by Theodore Obiang Ngemo Mbasogo, President of the Republic, in August 2010. The agreement provides for the costs incurred by the investors to be refunded after the start of commercial production of oil, with income-generating production being subsequently divided between the investor and the state.
Gazprom Neft is the project operator. Individual PSAs and collaboration agreements with GEPetrol have been concluded for each of the two blocks. Gazprom Neft has the right to exit from the project upon completion of any of the intermediate stages of exploration.
At the exploration stage, 80% of the project will belong to Gazprom Neft and 20% to GEPetrol, with the possibility of increasing the latter’s share to 45%. In the event of commercial discovery of hydrocarbons, GEPetrol can increase its share, once it has begun to finance the project costs proportionally and having reimbursed the historical exploration costs incurred earlier by Gazprom Neft.
According to preliminary assessments, the oil reserves in the two blocks may amount to 110 million tonnes of oil equivalent. The estimated operational period for the deposit is 30 years for oil and 35 years for gas.