Sterling, Tullow close stake sale deal for Block C-3 (Mauritania)

Sterling Energy, an oil and gas company with interests in Africa, has completed the acquisition of 40.5% interest in the production sharing contract for Block C-3 (PSC) from Tullow Oil, located offshore Mauritania.

The sale and purchase agreement was conducted through subsidiaries, Sterling Energy Mauritania Limited (SEML) and Tullow Mauritania Limited.

The holders of the PSC are now Tullow (Operator) with 49.5% interest, SEML with 40.5% and Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (SMHPM) holding 10%.

Block C-3

The PSC, awarded in 2013, is in the Phase 1, the first phase of the exploration period, and covers Block C-3, comprising an area of approximately 9,800km2. According to Sterling Energy, Phase 1 of the PSC is due to expire on June 30, 2016. Sterling further says that Tullow has acquired 1,600km of 2D seismic in 2014 which is now being evaluated. Completion of the acquisition and processing of the 2D seismic data represents the minimum work obligation during Phase 1, the company has said.

Sterling Energy further says that following completion of Phase 1, the joint venture may elect to enter into Phase 2 and Phase 3 (each with a 3 year term) with a minimum work obligation of 700km2 of 3D seismic and 1 well, and 1 well, respectively.

Furthermore, SEML and Tullow will carry SMHPM’s ten percent (10%) interest proportionally during the exploration period of the PSC.

According to Sterling Energy, this laterally extensive shallow water block lies in an underexplored area of the Mauritanian shelfal region that has seen very limited drilling and seismic acquisition. Block C-3 provides SEML entry to both a multiple play exploration setting on an emerging shelf margin; the latter recently highlighted by the SNE-1 well (P50 of 330mmbbls) discovered by Cairn Energy to the south in Senegal.

Exploration success has continued in the basin with the April 2015 Tortue-1 deep water gas discovery (P50 8TCF) announced by Kosmos Energy in block C-8, it has been said in Sterling Energy’s press release.

Eskil Jersing, the Chief Executive Officer Sterling Energy said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Tullow and SMHPM in the C-3 block in addition to the recent C-10 entry. As a result of recent play opening discoveries, this part of the West African margin is rapidly becoming an exciting new oil province. The Company is of the view that the Cretaceous through Jurassic shelfal play has intriguing and overlooked potential. We will further de-risk the block with the new 2D data to allow consideration of entry to the next phase.”

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