London — The Canadian-based oil and gas company Wentworth Resources on Wednesday announced that the Mozambican government has approved its appraisal plan for the Rovuma onshore concession in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
Wentworth had been one of the minority shareholders in the concession with an 11.59 per cent stake. The operator was the United States company Anadarko, with a 35.7 per cent stake. The other stakeholders were PTTEP of Thailand with 10 per cent and Maurel et Prom of France with 27.71 per cent. The remaining 15 per cent is held by Mozambique’s National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH).
However, the concession partners other than Wentworth and ENH relinquished their participation at the end of August last year following the expiration of the exploration licence.
Wentworth is continuing to develop the concession, and the government has agreed to its two-year appraisal plan with the company becoming the operator and its participation rising to 85 per cent.
Under the plan, the company will analyse the existing seismic data which covers a thousand kilometres. In the second half of next year, it will acquire a minimum of five hundred kilometres of new 2D seismic data. Then, in 2018, it will drill an appraisal well based on its interpretation of the available data.
So far, four wells have been drilled in the concession. Both oil and gas have been found but not in sufficient quantities to persuade Wentworth’s partners to continue with the project. However, ENH has the option to increase its participation by another 15 per cent in return for an equal share of the costs incurred. ENH has 18 months after the submission of the development plan to take up this option.
According to the company’s chairman, Bob McBean, “with all the data gained to date through our exploration drilling and seismic interpretation, we believe this area of onshore Mozambique to be highly prospective and although we expect minimal capital spend this year, I am looking forward to working with ENH as we progress this acreage position toward appraisal drilling in the future”.
The onshore concession lies to the west of Anadarko’s offshore Area 1 where up to 70 trillion cubic feet of natural gas has so far been discovered.
Wentworth Resources is traded on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange and the Oslo Stock Exchange. Its shares on the London Stock Exchange fell by over five per cent following the announcement.
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