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Canada’s APEX Sets Sights on Block 36 Prospects

Source: Oman Observer 3/26/2017, Location: Middle East

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Canada-based upstream energy firm Allied Petroleum Exploration Inc (APEX), whose 100 per cent interest in Block 36 in southwest Oman was endorsed by Royal Decree 15/2017 issued last week, says it has its sights on two promising prospects with a combined reserves potential of over 300 million barrels. The Royal Decree issued on March 19, 2017, ratifies the decision of the local subsidiary of Norwegian oil and gas firm DNO Oman AS to withdraw from Block 36 in which it had a 75 per cent interest. DNO had acquired the 75 per cent interest in a farm-out concluded by APEX in September 2013. As a result of DNO’s withdrawal from the Block, APEX now regains 100 per cent interest and operatorship of the Block. According to Alberta-based APEX, the work carried out in conjunction with its farm-out partner over the past four years has “dramatically de-risked the block, and identified the areas where chance of exploration success is highest”. “APEX currently plans to acquire high-resolution seismic over two of the larger prospects (with combined reserves of over 300 million barrels) and prepare for the drilling of the next exploration wells,” the Canadian firm stated on its website. APEX was awarded the sprawling 18,500 sq km concession, situated along the Sultanate’s borders with Saudi Arabia and Yemen, in September 2011. A pair of deep wells drilled previously on the relatively underexplored concession had hydrocarbon shows with over 40 metres of Silurian – one of the main source rocks that generated oil for giant fields elsewhere in the Gulf region. During the period of the farm-out, reprocessed and newly acquired seismic yielded a number of prospects and numerous exploration leads, said APEX, noting that the reserve size of the prospects and leads ranges from 50 to 250 million barrels. Also as part of its obligations, DNO drilled the first exploration well under the farm-out. Hayah-1, drilled in May 2016, targeted an undrilled portion of the Block, reaching a depth of 3,010 metres. At the time of its withdrawal from the Block, both DNO and APEX had invested a total of around $31 million in exploration activities, the latter noted. “Based on the important geological insights provided by the Hayah well, APEX has developed a new and promising structural model of the prospectivity of the Block, firming up the potential of certain of the leads and identifying several promising new plays,” it added. A private Canadian company engaged in the exploration, acquisition and development of oil and natural gas reserves, APEX is also actively pursuing further exploration and development opportunities elsewhere in Oman and the wider region.

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