Total, a French multinational oil and gas company, said it has obtained the exclusive right to begin oil exploration in three blocks – 7, 8 and 11, which are located within the oil-rich Joint Development Zone (JDZ) owned by Nigeria and São Tomé and Principe.
The exclusive right was received after Total and the Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Authority (JDA) signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) at a ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria. The two countries formed the JDA in 2002 to manage the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon resources in their maritime boundary.
The Acting Chairman of the JDA, Dr. Almajiri Geidam said production sharing contract was designed to revive activities at the JDZ after years of idleness,. He added that the deal will revive investors’ and oil companies’ interests in the JDZ.
According to Geidam, “since the JDA was established in January 2002, it has held two licensing rounds which culminated into the award of six blocks in the JDZ. Some exploration activity took place in most of the blocks that resulted in some discoveries of hydrocarbons. Furthermore this event is expected to elicit even more interest and confidence of other prospective investors”.
The Executive Director, Monitoring and Inspections at the JDA, Dr. Ibiwari Jack said the deal with Total gives the management of JDZ some confidence that more companies would show interest. He added that the potentials of the oil blocks would be known within the next two years.
Jack said “having Total back to our JDZ gives us so much confidence. if others look back to see Total, they will want to come. They will go to do their seismic studies there and hopefully in the next one or two years, we will get to know the potentials but the prospect is there, very huge”.
At the product sharing contract ceremony, the Manager of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria (TEPN), Nicholas Terraz said the firm intends to further invest to acquire 3-dimensional seismic data in the blocks. He disclosed that more than 1,000 squares kilometres of the field would be explored.