Ambilobe partners line up 3D seismic survey offshore Madagascar
Sterling Energy has updated exploration plans in its two production-sharing contracts (PSCs) offshore Madagascar.
The Ambilobe PSC, awarded in 2004, is in Phase 2 of the exploration period, which was recently extended to September 2015. It covers 17,650 sq km (6,815 sq mi) in the little-explored Ambilobe basin, where Cretaceous and Tertiary leads have been identified.
Although there are no outstanding work commitments remaining, Sterling and partner Pura Vida have started planning a discretionary 3D seismic program to be acquired in early 2015. They aim to mature their best leads to one or more drill-ready prospects prior to the expiry of Phase 2 as Phase 3 – if entered – has a commitment to drill an exploration well.
They have submitted an environmental impact assessment for this program.
Sterling has a 30% interest in the Ampasindava PSC, operated by ExxonMobil, and which contains the potential 1.2-BbblSifaka structure.
Although Sterling’s costs are carried up to a fixed amount, the cost of a well on Sifaka prospect would exceed its remaining gross carry. The company is therefore looking to farm out some of its interest so that an additional partner can fund its share of the drilling costs.
Last December, ExxonMobil and Sterling completed acquisition of a 2D seismic survey designed to provide greater definition over Sifaka and to delineate other prospects within the Sifaka trend. Processing of the new data is complete. Phase 3 of the Ampasindava PSC was recently extended to September 2015.