By Moses Nosike
Afren Nigeria, a subsidiary of Afren Plc. and Oriental Â Â Â Energy Resources have partnered Addax Petroleum with the aim to develop Okwok Field, located in OML 67 offshore South East Nigeria .Â Under this arrangment,Â Addax, and Afren assume the role of Technical Advisor, and will acquire a twenty-eight per centÂ participating interest, thereby reducing Addax to a twelve per centÂ participating interest.
Oriental retains its sixty per centÂ participating interest and the Operatorship of the Okwok field.Â Afren has undertaken to fund the drilling of one exploration or appraisal well.Â In the event of a commercial declaration, Afren and Addax will jointly fund the Okwok field development costs pro-rata.
The Okwok JVA follows the recent announcement from Afren and Oriental that a drilling contract has been signed for the Ebok development, with drilling due to begin in September 2009 and production expected in 2010.
Commenting on the agreement,Â the chairman of Afren, Egbert Imomoh said: â€œWe are delighted to have further extended our collaboration with Oriental to include the Okwok field, and at the same time enter into our first joint venture partnership with Addax in Nigeria, who we are also partnered with in Gabon and the JDZ Block 1.Â The Okwok field represents a material discovered but undeveloped oil field in close proximity to the Ebok field.
By deploying our understanding and experience gained at Ebok, we will seek to further improveÂ reserves at the Okwok field, and as a combined development with Ebok, they will contribute significantly to the objective of the Company to support the development of local indigenous production in Nigeria.â€
However, the chairman of Oriental, Alhaji Mohammed Indimi said: â€œHaving formalised our relationship with Afren during 2008 and experienced significant appraisal success with the Ebok Field appraisal program there-after, we welcome Afrenâ€™s participation in the Okwok Field development.Â Orientalâ€™s vision from the outset has been to achieve maximum operational efficiencies at our Okwok-Ebok Field developments.Â We believe that Afrenâ€™s presence in both projects will bring significant synergies to the development of the Ebok and Okwok fields.Â Oriental anticipates rapid progress to commercial production in both fields in the near future.â€