This thread is to discuss matters relating to the assets in Marine XI and Marine XIV blocks that will be the subject of a two-well drilling campaign in 2009 (scheduled to spud the first well on 19th August 2009) and a further two wells in mid 2010.
Congo (Brazzaville) is relatively "safe" politically and both blocks in which SOCO has an interest are offshore and surrounded by producing fields. The location and context of these assets can clearly be seen on pages 13 and 14 of yesterday's interims presentation
The first well in the upcoming campaign will be the Liyeke well on prospect S1, which is a large carbonate structure at a shallow depth, such that it is expected that the well will take only 2-3 weeks to drill. This is the oval-shaped prospect shown in the middle of Marine XI on page 13 and looks to be some 25-30 square km in areal extent. The potential of this prospect has been flagged in recent times as having about 100mn bbls of recoverable oil, though the initial indications (from mid-2008) were that it might be rather larger (up to 250-300mn bbls, though just possibly this may have been the result of some confusion between OOIP and recoverables). We'll soon see! [Edit 8/09: Structure water-wet; oil had migrated into overlying sands and was immovable. No impact on prospectivity of other plays. http://www.investegate.co.uk/Article.aspx?id=200909080700066645Y ]
The second well is an appraisal of the Viodo discovery involving a modest step-out of 1km from the discovery well. Essentially this is just intended to prove up commerciality of Viodo and to enable development to be started. Because there is so much infrastructure surrounding Viodo there will not be much "mystery time" before it is developed, assuming the appraisal is successful. Consideration was given to a much bigger step-out (see the extension shown on p14) but it was decided to stick with the safer option for now in order to get development started.
SOCO's holdings in these blocks are via the 85%-owned SOCO Congo Limited and its 100%-owned SOCO EPC subsidiary. In both blocks SOCO EPC is the operator.
SOCO EPC holds a 29% stake in Marine XI, having farmed out an 8.5% interest to Petrovietnam in exchange for some concessions in defining the HPHT appraisal area in Vietnam block 16-1. Other partners are SNPC 15%, Rafia Oil 18.75%, Africa Oil & Gas 10%, and Lundin 18.75%. Water depths are shallow, being up to 110 metres.
SOCO EPC also hold a 29.4% stake in Marine XIV, with SNPC having a carried 15%, Raffia Oil 21.55%, Lundin 21.55% and PA Congo having 12.5%. Marine XIV is split into three parts, each of which abuts Marine XI. Water depths are up to 115m.