(Rio de Janeiro)- The government of Equatorial Guinea has awarded Brazilian oil and gas company Petrobras a 50% participating interest in a production sharing contract covering Block L, located in the deepwater portion of the Rio Muni basin.
The block, covering an area of 4,250 sq km in water depths ranging from 500 to 2,200 m, is deemed to have excellent potential for a future addition of international reserves for Petrobras. Block L is in the vicinity of the prolific Block G, operated by Amerada Hess, in which 8 oil fields have been discovered, including the Ceiba field, already in production.
Petrobras has acquired the 50% interest from the current participants in Block L: Chevron Equatorial Guinea Ltd. (which now has 22.5%), Amerada Hess Equatorial Guinea Resources Inc. (now with 12.5%), Energy Africa Equatorial Guinea Ltd. (now with 10%) and Sasol Petroleum International Ltd. (5%). Chevron will remain the operator of the block, although Petrobras has the option to become the operator should a commercial discovery be made.
Petrobras now has assets in 16 countries over 3 continents. This acquisition has increased Petrobras' upstream presence on the African continent. In addition to EG, it also has activities in Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Libya.
The first exploratory well will be drilled in 2006, and if successful, will be followed by first oil by the beginning of the next decade.