DUBAI, 1 March 2010--RAK Petroleum Public Company Limited, the oil and gas exploration and production company, announced today that it has signed an agreement to join an offshore exploration licence in the Tunisian Republic.
A 30 percent interest in the Hammamet Offshore license has been acquired by RAK Petroleum from Canadian based firm Storm Ventures International which will retain a 35 percent operated interest. Cooper Energy of Australia holds the remaining 35 percent interest in the license. The assignment has been approved by the Tunisian Government.
The Hammamet Offshore license area, awarded in September 2005 under a Production Sharing Agreement, is situated in the Gulf of Hammamet and contains two ready to drill prospects plus several leads. The first well, Fushia 1, is expected to be drilled in the third quarter of 2010, subject to rig availability.
"RAK Petroleum is very pleased to make an entry into Tunisia," stated Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of RAK Petroleum’s Board of Directors. "This is the first exploration project undertaken by RAK Petroleum outside of Oman and the UAE. The Company is looking forward to further expansion in Tunisia and the North African region generally," Al Ghurair added.
The Fushia prospect is a complex of four structures separated by semi-parallel faults which have been mapped on 3-D seismic. These are on the same northwest trending structural high as South Cosmos field and are flanked to the south by the deep graben that is thought to source South Cosmos oil. The first well will test the fault compartment known as Structure B.
"While the larger field structure is complex, we believe Fushia offers the potential of hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in place if the four fault structures are all proven to contain oil," noted Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, RAK Petroleum’s Managing Director and Chairman of its Board of Directors Executive Committee. "A discovery at Fushia would provide a significant boost to the Company’s reserves base," he added.
RAK Petroleum Public Company Limited is registered in the Free Trade Zone of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and is operator of seven blocks in the Sultanate of Oman and in the United Arab Emirates, of which one is in the production phase, three are in the exploration phase, and three are undergoing appraisal for possible development/redevelopment. In December 2009, the Company disclosed that it had acquired a ten percent shareholding in the listed Norwegian company DNO International ASA which operates oil fields in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Republic of Yemen in addition to an active exploration program in several other countries.