Drilling in Sao Tome and Principe’s offshore area finds oil and gas

15 December 2009

Lisbon, Portugal, 15 Dec – The first phase of drilling in the Sao Tome and Principe-Nigeria Joint Development Zone (JDZ) has resulted in oil being found in the “expected” quantities and “a lot of gas” in one of the blocks, according to the Sao Tome National Oil Agency.

Luís Prazeres, the agency’s director, told Lusa that the results had been presented to the oil ministers of the two neighbouring countries by the JDZ and by the oil companies responsible, during the last meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council.

“Gas was found, particularly in Block 2, and there is also oil. (…) The discovery offers good prospects,” Prazeres said.

Field work in the JDZ, which was re-launched in the Summer, had been on hold since US company Chevron had drilled a single test well in 2006, in block 1.

The results are currently being interpreted and official information will be provided at the end of January, with a new phase of drilling scheduled for May, 2010, he said.

In the last few months a test well was drilled in block 2 (operated by China’s Sinopec), and one in block 3 and block 4 (operated by Addax).

“In block 2 some oil and a lot of gas was found. And there are hydrocarbons in the other blocks. Now the companies are analysing the data in a laboratory and may drill more test wells to confirm,” Prazeres said.

“They said it was an expected quantity [of oil in blocks 3 and 4]. Now they are carrying out more analyses to establish quantity. They did not mention if it was a lot or only a little. The companies are very conservative at this stage of the surveying and hold back information,” he said.

In 2006 traces of hydrocarbons were found in block 1, but had no guarantee of commercial viability. (macauhub)