Dubai's EAX steps up Seychelles exploration
Antananarivo, September 29, 2009
Dubai-based East Africa Exploration (EAX) and partner Britain's Avana Petroleum have started a second seismic survey of part of the Seychelles' seabed estimated to hold more than one billion barrels of oil.
The oil and gas exploration companies, which won a 15,000 sq km bloc last November, carried out an initial 3650 km 2D study in 2007, identifying a deep sedimentary section around the archipelago's granitic islands.
'The survey area includes some very large structures in both shallow and deep water targets and is close to the wells drilled by Amoco in 1980/81,' EAX said in a statement on Monday.
'The wells had significant oil shows which correlate well to the tar balls occasionally found on Seychelles beaches suggesting an active, indigenous hydrocarbon system.'
The relatively stable and prosperous Seychelles, best known as a luxurious palm-fringed get-away for the rich and famous, could offer an attractive alternative to more volatile oil-producing states.
EAX said the archipelago's granitic features were linked to those underpinning the Bombay High field and flank the prolific Cambay basin on the Indian sub-continent's west coast.
The new 1100 km 2D survey will better image the potential reservoirs in numerous tilted blocks in the southern third of tranche A. The company expects to carry out further tests for the remainder of tranche A and tranches B and C in 2010.
'Drilling is planned for the period early 2011 to 2012,' said EAX. The state-owned Seychelles Petroleum Company (SEPEC) bought a 10 percent share in EAX's parent company, Black Marlin Energy, for $6 million last August.
Earlier this year, Seypec's boss Guy Adam told Reuters the government would tender another 70,000 sq km of its ocean sea-floor for exploration before the end of 2009. - Reuters