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Azonto-led venture applies for licence extension offshore Ghana

24th September 2014

Azonto Petroleum has applied to the Ghana energy ministry to extend its exploration licence in order to fully analyse its seismic data

Azonto-led venture applies for licence extension offshore Ghana
zonto has applied to the minister of energy in Ghana for a further extension and discussions are currently on-going

"The work our geoscience team has carried out since assuming effective operatorship of the Block in March 2014 has been of extremely high quality and has been recognised as such by the third parties that have reviewed it to-date,” said Rob Shepherd, Azonto managing director. “The reality is that the time period allocated to complete a farm-out process was insufficiently short and so we have asked the government for a further extension.

“Assuming it is forthcoming, we remain confident that we can obtain a risk and reward exposure to this exciting high impact asset that reflects the size and strategy of the company."

On 26 March, 2014, Azonto announced that its subsidiary, Azonto Petroleum (Ghana) Limited (57 per cent Azonto Petroleum Ltd / 43 per cent Vitol E&P) had been granted a six-month extension to the initial exploration period, extending it to 23 September, 2014.

Whilst all of the commitments for the extended exploration period had already been satisfied, the extension enabled Azonto Ghana and its joint-venture partner Afex Oil (Ghana) to work closely alongside GNPC (which holds a 10 per cent carried interest in the block) to carry out further geophysical studies in order to fully incorporate the results from the Starfish-1 well, and further enhance the definition of the additional identified prospectivity on the 2,000 square kilometre block.

The Starfish-1 well, drilled in June 2013, appeared to have penetrated an Albian aged stratigraphic reservoir and discovered possible evidence of residual oil in those sands.  Remapping focused on prospects in both the shallow water syn-rift Albian play and also in the deeper water Cenomanian/Turonian turbiditic and hinge-line plays.

Subsequently, a data room was opened by the company and a limited number of high quality parties were invited to review the block data with a view to having them join the existing consortium.

Whilst some of those parties approached have elected not to proceed, a number remain interested in reviewing the data further. However, the period of the previous extension has proved insufficient to enable the process to be concluded satisfactorily to date. 

Consequently, Azonto has applied to the minister of energy in Ghana for a further extension and discussions are currently on-going. The company will update the market once these discussions have been completed.

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