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By Udeme Akpan, Energy Editor

Atlas Petroleum International, with footprints across the African continent, holding 22 oil and gas licenses in 12 jurisdictions, said it remains a major investor in Equatorial Guinea’s Block P.

The American oil producer VAALCO Energy (NYSE: EGY) had announced the approval of the Plan of Development for Discovery on Block P in Equatorial Guinea on September 26, 2022.

According to the company, the Government of Equatorial Guinea had approved the Venus – Block P Plan of Development (POD), adding that VAALCO has an 80 percent participation interest in the project.

It had maintained that upon the execution of final documents, VAALCO would proceed directly to project execution which targets the first oil in 2026 and adds 23.1 million barrels of oil of 2P CPR gross reserves, and 18.5 MMBO of 2P CPR Working Interest (WI) reserves (16.2 MMBO net 2P reserves).

VAALCO had also claimed that it has a 45.9 per cent WI in Block P Offshore Equatorial Guinea after the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons approved the new amendment to the PSC, adding that it would hold an 80 per cent WI in the Venus development in Block P, and Guinea Ecuatorial de Petroleós GEPetrol has a 20 per cent carried working interest; as the result of EGY’s joint venture owner, Atlas Petroleum International, opting not to participate in the POD.

But in a statement obtained by Vanguard, Atlas Petroleum noted the press statement by Vaalco Energy, Inc. on the Block P Venus discovery Plan of Development (POD), stated that, “Atlas Petroleum, as a legacy investor in Equatorial Guinea, has been a partner in Block P prior to Vaalco’s entrance to the block, and remains an investor with an active participating interest in Block P. Any claims to the contrary by Vaalco or any company are false, outrageous and misleading.

“Atlas has not relinquished any part of its interest. Atlas does not intend to walk away from Block P. Any assertion by a company that has decided to drill and develop an oil field in the media are wrong. We know work is done on platforms not with the media and we urge our partners to refrain from this.

“We are in constant communication with the government and have never received a letter from the government or GEPetrol that our PSC and interest have been cancelled.”

In a report obtained from its website, Atlas Petroleum International maintained that “Block P consists of the Venus Production and Development Area and the Block P Exploration area. A plan of development to begin a drilling campaign on the Venus PDA is in progress.

“Block P covers an area of 1,253 square kilometres in the Rio Muni basin, in close proximity to Equatorial Guinea’s mainland. The Venus discovery was made in 2005 by Devon Energy. The PDA also contains a number of exploration prospects, chiefly the SW Grande Prospect and the Marte Prospect, each of which has the potential to substantially add to the area’s reserves. GEPetrol purchased Devon’s Equatoguinean assets in 2008 and became the operator of Block P. In November 2012, block partner Petronas Carigali sold its 31 per cent share in Block P to Vaalco Energy.

Vaalco is in the process of being approved as a technical operator and preparing a plan of development for the Venus PDA. The POD will have a minimum of two-well exploration campaigns. Drilling targets will be the SW Grande and Marte prospects.”
It added: “Located approximately 50 km to the south of Block P is the Hess operated Ceiba and Okume fields.

The sand reservoirs in the Venus Field in Block P have been identified and verified as the same type as these other Rio Muni discoveries. These fields have proven reserves of around 500 million barrels of oil. The reserves of the Venus field are estimated to contain between 15 and 30 million gross recoverable barrels of oil.”

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