French oil giant Total and Nigeria-São Tomé and Príncipe Joint Development Authority (JDA) last week signed a new production sharing contract (PSC) to grant exclusive right to begin exploration activities in three blocks.
According to a local media, the blocks 7, 8 and 11 are located within the hydrocarbon-rich Joint Development Zone (JDZ) owned by São Tomé and Nigeria. The blocks carry the potential of over 500 million barrels of untapped crude oil.
Total plans to invest more than $10 million in the acquisition of 3D seismic data of oil and gas prospects in the blocks, with over 1,000km2 of the field being explored.
“It is too early to tell the quantity of oil. We have a four-year exploration period during which we will need to acquire the seismic data,” Managing Director of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria, Nicholas Terraz said.
The JDZ represents an area along the maritime Nigeria-São Tomé and Principe border in the Atlantic Ocean and is speculated to be rich in oil and gas reserves.
The Nigeria-São Tomé and Príncipe Joint Development Authority (JDA) administers the offshore zone jointly owned by the two countries. Because neither nation could have explored the resources in the zone without interfering with the maritime territory of the other, both agreed to create the JDA.