has expanded its portfolio after signing an option to farm in at Block B, an onshore acreage in Bénin, West Africa. It is located within the Dahomey Embayment, a frontier area with no wells drilled to date, covering an area of 1.1 million acres.
The option agreement was signed with Elephant Oil, for an option to take a 20% interest in PSC. If United exercises, it will fund 30% of the non-drilling and 20% of drilling costs in the Phase 1 work programme. It would also pay $260,000 to Elephant, and a further $780,000 in three equal six monthly instalments.
The licence is surrounded by prolific hydrocarbon producing regions, with early indications of a working petroleum system. Oil and gas seeps have been reported from water wells within the licence, and an extensive tar belt north east of the area may indicate a migration of oil through the targeted area.
United CEO Brian Larkin said: “The new licence is a great fit with the United business model, where we are continuing to build a portfolio of near-term low risk assets and a viable producing business based in Europe, with carefully selected frontier exploration licences with transformational upside in South America and Africa.”
He added: “As with our assets in Jamaica, the scale of this new licence in Benin and its proximity to other working hydrocarbon systems lend it to having huge potential high-impact upside with early data suggesting the presence of numerous large structures.”
Under the farm in option agreement, United have agreed to fund passive seismic and field studies of up to $175,000. The passive seismic programme is targeted for April, with an aim to calibrate the depth to basement, and obtain more information on the oil and gas seeps. Currently, the data on Block B suggests the presence of numerous large structures, with potential to hold over 200mmbbls.
The company told investors it has also been actively assessing a number of more mature opportunities that are under NDA and “nearing advanced stages of due diligence and commercial negotiation”.
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