Yemen work programme at two IOC-Oil India blocks

Vol 11, PW 22 (20 Mar 08) People & Policy

Yemen is proving a far friendlier place for Indian explorers than Iran, despite delay in the ratification of PSCs by the country’s government.

PETROWATCH learns Oil India and Indian Oil have drawn up an ambitious exploration programme alongside operator MEDCO Energi (45%) and Kuwait Energy (25%) for two onland blocks they won in the country’s third licensing round in 2006: blocks 82 and 83. Block 82 measures 1853-sq km and lies on the southwest edge of the Masila Basin while block 83 measures 364-sq km and lies on the northeastern flank of the Masila Basin.

Phase-I of the minimum work programme on block 82 commits the consortium to reprocess available seismic, shoot and interpret 330-km fresh 2D and 170-sq km 3D and drill three exploration wells. Phase-II commits the consortium to shooting and interpreting 100-sq km 3D and drilling two exploration wells.

Phase-I at block 83 commits the consortium to reprocessing existing seismic, shooting and interpreting 330-km new 2D and 155-sq km 3D plus drilling three exploration wells. Phase-II at block 83 commits consortium partners to shooting and interpreting 100-sq km 3D and drilling two exploration wells.

Oil India tells us the length of each phase is yet to be fixed and will be done closer to signing the PSC. Oil India’s share of exploration expenditure is $5.51m on block 82 and $6.9m at block 83.

Indian Oil will have to contribute the same on each block, as it also has 15%. Yemen’s parliament ratified the awards in January this year but the PSCs are yet to be signed.

“Signing of the PSCs is still about a month or so away,â€‌ says a frequent visitor to Yemen. “After ratification the (Yemen) oil ministry prints 1500 copies of each draft PSC and circulates it to various other ministries such as trade and commerce, finance, home, defence.

This takes time.â€‌ Most likely, we are told, the PSCs will be signed in the third week of April.