Discover, the privately owned, geology-led, oil and gas exploration company specialised in deepwater petroleum systems, is pleased to announce the ratification of its Production Sharing Contract (the “PSC”), covering offshore blocks 35, 36 & 37 (previously named blocks A, B & C), by the National Assembly of the Comoros (the “National Assembly”).
Parliamentary approval follows on from the signing of the PSC by the Government of the Comoros in March 2013, in full compliance with the country’s international standard Petroleum Code ratified in December 2012 by the National Assembly.
The PSC license area of c. 18,000 km2 is adjacent to Mozambique Areas 1 and 4 and is located in the western part of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Comoros, where there have been recent discoveries of giant natural gas accumulations by Eni in Area 4 and Anadarko and its partners in Area 1, and in which the Discover management team were involved through their previous company, Cove Energy plc. Existing 2D seismic data suggests the reservoir play fairway hosting these gas deposits extends in to the license area covered by the PSC.
The parties to the PSC are Discover (60%, through it wholly-owned subsidiary Discover Exploration Comoros B.V.), Bahari Resources Limited (Bahari) (40%) and the Government of the Comoros. The partnership is entering into a 4-year exploration period and will shortly commence an extensive 2D in-fill seismic survey covering the PSC license area. Discover and Bahari will also invest in the training of local personnel and in local community development programmes.
In December 2013, global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group announced a majority investment in Discover. The equity investment of up to $200m over the next three years will fund operations in the Comoros as well as other opportunities. This was the first investment by Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP), a fund that focuses on oil and gas exploration & production, midstream, oil field services and refining and marketing in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Michael Blaha, Executive Chairman of Discover, said:
“Following the signing of our PSC by the Government in March 2013, I am delighted that the National Assembly has now given our contract its approval. I congratulate the people of the Union of the Comoros with the start of their country’s first oil & gas exploration programme.”
John Craven, CEO of Discover, commented:
“The approval of this strategic PSC by the National Assembly of the Comoros, signifies the start of the exploration programme in our license area, covering the outboard part of the Rovuma Delta, bordering the highly prospective offshore Mozambique hydrocarbon province. Our partnership is looking forward to working with His Excellency Dr. Ikililou Dhoinine, President of the Union of the Comoros, and his Government to unlock the hydrocarbon potential contained within our license area.”
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