Dominion set for lead role in Malta PSC

Dominion Petroleum has agreed to take a 75% operating interest from Phoenicia Energy in a production-sharing contract (PSC) offshore Malta.

Offshore staff

LONDON – Dominion Petroleum has agreed to take a 75% operating interest from Phoenicia Energy in a production-sharing contract (PSC) offshore Malta.

The PSC covers blocks 4, 5, 6, and 7 of Malta’s offshore Area 4. The acreage extends over 5,715 sq km (2,206 sq mi) to the north of Libya, and provides exploration potential in North Africa’s proven Eocene carbonate play, in addition to the Cretaceous rift potential of the Melita-Median graben.

RPS Energy’s competent person's report on Area 4 in 2006 identified numerous prospects, including Tarxien, a lower Eocene carbonate build-up. Using Libyan oil field analogues, RPS estimated the prospect’s un-risked P50 oil resource at 115 MMbbl with an 18% chance of drilling success.

Phoenicia’s parent company, Mediterranean Oil & Gas, has a 90% interest in the PSC, the remainder held by Leni Gas & Oil Investments Ltd.

Work obligations under the PSC’s current period include acquisition of 1,000 sq km (386 sq mi) of long-offset 3D seismic data, and drilling of one exploration well. Dominion plans to process and evaluate the results of the seismic survey, allowing it to improve definition of Tarxien prospect and mature other leads and prospects identified in Area 4.

The long-offset 3D should also lead to improved imaging of the pre-Tertiary rift-fill below the Eocene carbonates and potentially support seismic attribute analyses for new Cretaceous targets.

The first exploration period runs through January 2013 with a minimum expenditure requirement of $5 million. The 3D seismic survey is estimated to cost $8-10 million.

In March, Tanzania's Ministry of Energy and Minerals granted Dominion a one-year extension to the initial exploration period for Tanzanian offshore block 7.

Last November, the company acquired 3D seismic survey on the block, and its currently processing the data while interpreting the fasttrack volume. The survey initially focused on the Alpha prospect, thought to contain potentially 7 tcf of gas or 1.1 Bbbl of oil.

However, the fasttrack 3D has highlighted new opportunities not evident on the original 2D dataset. These include Bravo, a Paleocene fan prospect; E1, an Eocene fan prospect; and M1, a Miocene/Pliocene channel prospect. Cumulatively, this trio could add 1.3-6.5 tcf of prospective gas resources to the block 7.

Dominion has commissioned additional 2D seismic as an in-fill to the deeper water portion of the block, to improve its understanding of the deepwater Lambda and Mu prospects, and larger Cretaceous structural features beneath.

The final 3D volume should be completed this month, and later this summer, Dominion will initiate a full competent persons’ report focused on all prospects identified from the Pliocene to the lower Cretaceous targets. The aim is to attract farm-in partners prior to starting drilling operations in the first half of 2012.


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