Occidental Petroleum signed a production-sharing contract with the government of Yemen to conduct oil exploration in Block 44 in the Hadramaut province in Central Yemen.
Occidental has a 75 percent working interest in the block and is operator. Ansan Wikfs (Hadramaut) Ltd., a Yemeni company, holds the remaining 25 percent interest.
In addition, Yemen's national oil company has a 7 percent carried interest if commercial quantities of oil are discovered in the block.
The exploration phase is expected to take three years with drilling operations to commence in early 2003. The work commitment is divided into two phases. Phase 1 requires the acquisition of 185 miles of 2-D seismic data and drilling one exploratory well.
A second Phase 1 exploratory well is optional. Phase 2 calls for completion of an additional 125 miles of 2-D seismic, a 58-square mile 3-D survey and one exploratory well. Like Phase 1, a second exploratory well is optional.
Block 44 is located just north of Occidental's interests in the 900-million barrel Masila prospect on Block 14 and the East Shabwa operation on Block 10 where combined gross production currently exceeds 250,000 barrels per day.
The geology of Block 44, which is part of the Sanyun-Masila Basin, is expected to be similar to that of Masila.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )