Cooper takes helm at Nabeul

Cooper Energy has acquired an 85% operating interest in the offshore Tunisia Nabeul permit in the Gulf of Hammamet from Capricorn Oil and Gas.

Offshore staff

SUBIACO, Australia -- Cooper Energy has acquired an 85% operating interest in the offshore Tunisia Nabeul permit in the Gulf of Hammamet from Capricorn Oil and Gas.

The concession complements Cooper’s other permits in the area, on Bargou (where it also has an 85% interest) and Hammamet (35%).

The cash consideration for the transaction is $1.5 million. Additionally, Capricorn – a subsidiary of Cairn Energy – will receive $2 million for each commercial discovery on the permit up to a maximum of $6 million, along with $3 million at the point of production of first oil from those discoveries, up to a maximum of $9 million.

Cooper is also taking on the Nabeul Permit’s work obligations, which include acquiring new seismic to mature prospects, and drilling of one offshore well. The other partner is Dutch company Dyas.

Under the terms of the title agreement ETAP (the Tunisian Government national oil company) has a 50% back-in right to any discoveries.

Cooper will focus initially on the Alpha and Gamma in the western portion of the permit, estimated to contain P50 prospective resources totaling 50 MMbbl of oil.

In both cases, the reservoir is the prolific Birsa Sandstone, the proven reservoir in the nearby Tazerka, Birsa, and Oudna fields. Birsa and Oudna lie just to the west of the permit and are directly analogous to the Nabeul leads.

Cooper, however, has identified other leads throughout the permit and plans to mature these as part of the block work program. In mid-2011, the partners plan to start acquiring 3D seismic to high-grade Alpha and Gamma into drillable prospects.

Michael Scott, Cooper’s managing director, said: “In 2005 we bid for the Bargou permit and the Nabeul permit together. We won Bargou, but Nabeul went to another bidder. The block has now come back to us and the acquisition gives us a substantial strategic foothold over the area.”

11/16/2010

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