Afren East African Exploration, a wholly owned subsidiary of Afren plc ("Afren") announces that it has commenced a major 3D seismic programme in the Seychelles, the first 3D survey to be conducted in the country.
The programme will consist of two surveys in Afren's licence areas that extend over a combined area of approximately 14,319 km˛ on the Seychelles micro-continent. The areas are located in shallow to deep water in the Northern half of the Seychelles Plateau. A number of attractive prospects have been identified during the interpretation of 3,733 km of 2D seismic data which were acquired in 2011/2012. The 2011/2012 2D survey was designed to better reveal the areas' true prospectivity, following the earlier identification of several large scale structures.
The first 3D survey will be conducted in the southern portion of the licence over the Bonit prospect and this will cover 600 km˛. The second survey will be in the northern section of the licence area and will cover an area of 2,750 km˛. In this area, significant prospectivity exists in both Cretaceous and Jurassic intervals.
Gross un-risked prospective resources for the two areas are estimated at 2,800 mmboe. EAX operates the blocks with a 75% interest and is partnered with Avana Petroleum which holds a 25% interest.
Award of Contract
Afren and its partner awarded the seismic contract to Polarcus, the global marine geophysical company, who will use the newly commissioned Polarcus Adira vessel.
The commencement of the programme was marked with a ceremony in Victoria, Seychelles at which EAX and PetroSeychelles hosted a number of government officials and local dignitaries.
Galib Virani, Director of Afren EAX, commented:
"The commencement of this 3D seismic programme on Area A is not only a first for the Seychelles but is also a major step toward proving the commercial viability of the country's considerable oil and gas resource potential.
"We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with the Government and people of Seychelles as we work to expand the data that has been collected to date. The 3D programme is an important component to reducing the risk and maximising the chances of exploration drilling success and forms an exciting part of Afren EAX's broader high impact exploration programme across the East Africa region."
Eddy Belle, Chief Executive of Petro Seychelles Ltd, said:
"The decision by Afren and Avana Petroleum to conduct the 3D seismic survey of some 3350 km˛ in their licence areas has been welcomed by both the Government of Seychelles and PetroSeychelles. The large structures mapped from the processed 2D seismic survey are located over 100 km west and northwest of the main island of Mahe. The 3D survey will identify the most optimal structures to be drilled.
This 3D survey is timely, as Seychelles has recently completed an exercise to modernise its petroleum legislations and revised its fiscal regime in preparation for road shows to meet oil companies in early 2013. There has been renewed interest by oil companies to prospect in Seychelles and we expect to start receiving offers from them as of early May 2013.
The Government of Seychelles and PetroSeychelles have enjoyed a very good working relationship with Afren since it took over the interest of EAX Ltd. We are confident that Afren will remain committed and we anticipate a commercial discovery in the not too distant future. Such a discovery will not only provide some energy security for the country, but will also enable Seychelles to achieve its economic objectives."