Total Expands Presence In Yemen With Farm-In To Block 3
France’s Total has acquired a 40% stake and operatorship in Yemen’s Block 3 exploration license from Australian oil and gas independent Oil Search. The deal, announced on 5 March, is the first of its kind since Yemen’s former Vice-President 'Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadiwas sworn in as the country’s new President on 27 February (MEES, 27 February). The license area covers 2,954 sq km of the eastern section of the Marib Basin. Once the transaction is complete, exploration will resume at the block, with a seismic survey scheduled to be followed by drilling of an exploration well.
Speaking after the announcement of the deal Arnaud Breuillac, head of Total Middle East Exploration and Production, said: “With this acquisition, Total is pursuing its strategy of expanding its exploration and production activities in Yemen, in high-potential geological basins that offer a close fit with existing projects.” Total is partnered in Block 3 by Austria’s OMV (34%), Czech Republic’s MND (20%) and state-controlled Yemen General Corporation for Oil and Gas (6%).
Total’s output in Yemen amounted to an average of 86,000 b/d of oil equivalent in 2011, despite the ongoing political turmoil and unrest in the country that saw regular attacks in its oil producing Shabwa and Marib provinces throughout the year. To date, it holds producing assets in Yemen’s two main oil basins – as operator of the East Shabwa Block 10 in the Masila Basin with a 28.57% stake, and as a partner in the Jannah Block 5 in the Marib Basin with a 15% stake. It also holds the majority stake in Yemen LNG (39.62%), which operates a gas liquefaction terminal in Balhaf on the southern coast. The plant has a nominal capacity of 6.7mn tons/year of LNG and is supplied with feedstock from Block 18 via a 320km gas pipeline.
Total’s Yemeni E&P Interests
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