CGE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the China Coal Geology General Prospecting Institute (CCGPI), recently completed a 412 km 2D seismic survey for UK company Surestream Petroleum over the onshore N’Dunda block in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is now operated by Eni following a farm-in agreement in August.
The N’Dunda block is located in the west of DRC, close to the enclave of Cabinda and is bounded to the south by the River Congo. The terrain in the block is operationally very challenging, with large areas of papyrus swamp. Dr Huo Ming Quanmin, president of CGE, said: ‘CGE is relatively new to the international seismic market and the completion of this survey demonstrates that we are able to offer our customers an excellent service even in the most difficult of operational environments.’
Mr Paul Phillips, vice president of geophysics at Surestream Petroleum said: ‘Early indications are that the data quality is very good and we look forward to seeing the fully processed dataset. It is also gratifying that the survey was accomplished with no significant HSE issues. During August, ENI of Italy acquired a 55% interest in the NDunda block and will take over as operator. We will have little hesitation in recommending that CGE be retained as the seismic contractor for any further work on the block.’
Surestream Petroleum is an independent, UK-based, oil exploration company founded in September 2004 by the present management team with the aim of building a balanced and diversified portfolio of African hydrocarbon assets. Eni entered the Democratic Republic of Congo by signing a farm-in agreement with Surestream to acquire 55% and operatorship in the Ndunda block in the ‘Bassin C?tier’ along a still scarcely explored onshore region of the prolific Lower Congo Basin. The partnership is composed of Eni (55%, operator), Surestream (30%), state-owned company COHYDRO (8%), and Ibos (7%).
The agreement, which has already been sanctioned by the country’s authorities, follows the signature in August 2009 of the strategic cooperation agreement between Eni and the Democratic Republic of Congo to develop the country’s hydrocarbon resources. The deal will allow Eni to immediately start performing all studies and interpretation to thoroughly evaluate the block. Through this acquisition, Eni further strengthens its presence in the Sub-Saharan region where it is already present in Nigeria, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Angola, Ghana, and Mozambique with exploration projects and an operated, overall production in excess of 450,000 boe/d.
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