The PSC for the 10,725-sq km (4,140-sq mi) block, awarded in 2011, is currently in the second exploration phase. Water depths range from 50-2,400 m (164-7,874 ft), and are covered by legacy 3D seismic.
After farming in to the PSC in early 2015, Tullow had matured a drill-ready Neocomian carbonate prospect in 100 m (328 ft) water depth. The partners had originally anticipated drilling the commitment well to test the prospect this year, but will not now be able to fulfil the terms by the license renewal date.
Tullow had been negotiating with to secure a one-year extension involving a new 3D survey, but the government had responded that this proposal does not warrant an extension to the second term.
The gross penalty payment due to the government will be $7.5 million.
Eskil Jersing, Sterling’s CEO, said: “Our entry into the C-10 block, was prefaced on extensive subsurface work demonstrating potential for both untested inboard Neocomian carbonate and outboard Cenomanian to Albian plays, the latter proven byKosmos.
“However, subsequent technical and economic modeling has not matured a viable hub scale opportunity on block…It is unfortunate that we have been unable to define commercially viable hub scale opportunities on the block in this exploration period.”