Sao Tome and Principe to begin oil exploration in its exclusive area

30 January 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 30 Jan – Sao Tome and Principe is set to begin, at the end of 2007, oil exploration in the archipelago’s exclusive area, with the support of the World Bank, the director of the Sao Tome oil agency said Monday in Sao Tome.

Arzemiro dos Prazeres “Kapala” told Macauhub that a process was underway to reassess the seismic survey of the area carried out by a Norwegian company, Petroleum Geo-Service (PGS), which is the basis for an agreement between both parties signed in February 2001.

PGS’s surveys showed that geological structures that may “contain” hydrocarbons totaling 10,870 square kilometers in deep waters in the seas off the archipelago, in a survey begun in 2001.

Dos Prazeres “Kapala” said that the reassessment process of the seismic data would be the responsibility of British Geological Survey, which would be assigned to discover the limits and spread of potential oil blocs in the area.

He noted that, “technically everything points to the end of 2007 or beginning of 2008,” for the launch of an international tender to sell the potential blocs in the Sao Tome and Principe exclusive area.

In this process, Sao Tome and Principe also has the assistance of the `World Bank as part of a program to boost technical skills in the area of oil signed in 2003.
As well as its exclusive area, Sao Tome and Principe also has a joint exploration area with Nigeria base don a treaty stating that Nigeria receives 60 percent of revenues while 40 percent goes to Sao Tome.

Less than a week ago, US oil company Chevron Texaco announced it had struck oil, as yet without any commercial guarantee, in a bloc located in the joint area between Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria, the signing bonus of which netted the two countries US$120 million.

As well as revenues from the Chevron Texaco bloc, Sao Tome and Principe also expects revenues of a further US$28 million from the signing bonus from three joint area blocs. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH