Baraka Petroleum Limited confirmed that in conjunction with farm-in partners CNPC International Mauritania
(CNPCIM), the seismic survey of coastal Block 20 in Mauritania was completed in the past 48 hours, substantially ahead of schedule. The early completion of the seismic program gives the Joint Venture partners confidence that the preferred target date of 2nd quarter 2006 for spudding the first well in this project could be
The survey was able to commence earlier than planned as the farm-out agreement Baraka recently signed with CNPCIM for this block was one of the first agreements approved by the new government in Mauritania. Mr. Mohamed Aly Ould Sidi Mohamed, the new Minister of Energy and Resources, approved the agreement on 18 August 2005. The Minister of Energy and Resources also gave immediate authorisation for the commencement of seismic acquisition on this block, subject to a visit by one of his representatives and the review of the Joint Venture detailed environmental plans. The representative of the Minister of Energy and Resources visited Block 20 three weeks ago and gave full approval for the acquisition to commence as planned.
The seismic acquisition program, originally planned to commence sometime between October 2005 and January 2006, was brought forward by two months as a result of the efficiency of the contractor, BGP, and the high level of cooperation between Baraka and CNPCIM. BGP are also running the seismic acquisition of adjacent Block 12 held by CNPCIM.
Baraka Managing Director Max de Vietri believes the successful and timely completion of the seismic survey is testament to the close working relationship that exists between CNPCI, Baraka Petroleum and the Mauritanian government.
“The strength of the partners in the Block 20 exploration project and the way in which we have been able to quickly build an extremely strong working relationship has been the key to the successful completion of this seismic survey and is encouraging for the on-going development of this block." “If the work program continues to progress at the current rate then we expect the spud date of the first well on this block to be in the second quarter of next year. However this is dependant on a number of factors working positively in our favour, which cannot be relied on at this early stage.”
The seismic survey consisted of 65km of infill seismic immediately on the crest of the Heron prospect. The total cost of $US1 million was significantly less than the established carried work program budget of US$1.6 million as mobilisation costs associated with the survey were reduced through collaboration of the three companies operating in the coastal onshore region of Mauritania.
In the coming two weeks, amplitude v’s offset (AVO) processing for gas and gas condensate fluid mapping of Block 20 will take place. This AVO processing, calibration and interpretation will be run in parallel at both the CNPC research center in Beijing, China and by an expert group of qualified technical personnel in Perth Australia. In addition, detailed velocity modeling will be applied to improve the depth to target prediction
from the existing seismic surveys dating from 1990 originally acquired by Texaco. This work is expected to reduce the uncertainty on the exploration well total depth with consequences for associated cost saving.