Swiss-based Glencore and Afex Global Limited signed a deal with Cameroon's state oil company on Thursday to explore for oil in the Matanda block of the central African country's in the Douala-Kribi/Campo basin. State-owned National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH) said in a statement the block covered 1,187 sq. km (458 sq. miles) in between the Wouri estuary and the neighbouring onshore area to the south and west of Douala, central Africa's biggest port.
Cameroon is central Africa's biggest economy and lies on the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, although its crude oil output has virtually halved since its 1980s peak to a modest 90,000 barrels per day.
"The contract signed this day will reactivate exploration activities on this part of the Cameroon mining domain, which for over a decade registered no activity, but whose potential in gas and condensates was proven in two wells drilled by Gulf Oil Corporation in the early 80s," SNH said in the statement.
The contract, which SNH said stipulated the research Glencore's subsidiary Glencore Exploration Limited and Afex should conduct on the Matanda block, was worth $38 million and was renewable, SNH said.
Afex Global Limited is an independent company which operates in Mali and Angola, the SNH said.//Reuters
Alan Johnson and Richard Bray, both General Managers of GLENCORE and AFEX, respectively, initialed the vital papers that now enable the consortium to explore and exploit oil in the “Matanda” block, in the coastal area of the.
Douala / Kribi-Campo Basin. The precise location, according to the mining map of Cameroon, is the area that falls in the transitional zone between the Wouri estuary and the neighboring onshore area to the south and west of Douala, in the Wouri and part of Fako divisions.
The Matanda Block covers a surface area of 1 187 Km2.
Minutes before the contract was signed, the Director of Exploration at the SNH, Simon Tamfu explained that Matanda is valuable: five wells were drilled in the area between 1975 and 1982. Two of the wells turned out to be positive for gas and condensates! Tamfu adds that such wealth is found just about 18 Km away from Douala, which means that gas supply to this metropolitan city, in the event of a discovery, will not constitute any problem for the consortium.
CRTV also learned that five rounds of negotiations were undertaken before the contract matured; and that this followed a restricted international call for tenders launched by NHC on March 9, 20078 targeting thirteen petroleum companies from which the GLENCORE/AFEX consortium was selected. The source says the negotiations took cognizance of the difficult terrain of mangroves and swamps that are known to make seismic studies in the area expensive.
The consortium has undertaken to carry out exploration activities on the block for a term of three years, renewable twice, two years from each renewable period. Its financial obligation, in this regard, is estimated at 38 Million US dollars (about 19 000 million CFA Frs. at the current exchange rate).
Glencore is a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Glencore International AG created in 1974, whereas AFEX Global Limited is an independent company created in 2006.
The contract is the tenth to be signed within the framework of the implementation of the 1999 law on the Petroleum code.//CRTV