HOUSTON -- Regulators from the Republic of Congo have granted approval to SOCO Exploration and Production Congo's acquisition of a 29.4% working interest in the Marine XIV block offshore.
SOCO acquired the interest in the shallow water block of the Lower Congo basin from PA Resources Congo. The block comprises three discontinuous sections located in water depths ranging up to 115 m (377 ft) and covers approximately 265 sq km (102 sq mi).
Previous exploration activity on the block has resulted in oil discoveries.
SOCO EPC is now the operator of the block, with PA Congo retaining a 12.5% interest and the national oil company, Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo, holding a 15% carried interest. The remaining interests are held by fellow farm-in participants and joint venture partners on the Marine XI block, Raffia Oil SARL (21.55%) and a subsidiary of Lundin Petroleum (21.55%).
The operator is acquiring 3D seismic on the Marine XIV block which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of this year. It also expects to begin exploratory drilling on the adjacent Marine XI block during the third quarter of this year.