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ERHC Energy Inc. announced that the government of the Republic of Chad has issued an exclusive exploration authorization (EEA) to the company for three blocks covered by its production-sharing contract in Chad.
The EEA authorizes ERHC to undertake oil and gas exploration operations in the Chari-Ouest III, BDS 2008 and Manga blocks in Chad, which are covered by the PSC.
The initial term of the EEA is for five years and can be renewed for another three years.
“With the issuance of the EEA, ERHC can now commence its Chad exploration work program in earnest,” said ERHC's president and CEO Peter Ntephe. “ERHC’s goal is to advance quickly toward the identification of leads and prospects and thereafter to drill as quickly as the circumstances permit.”
ERHC plans to focus its work program initially on the BDS 2008 and Chari Ouest III blocks in southern Chad. ERHC has 100% of the interest in BDS 2008 and a 100% interest in half of Chari-Ouest III. ERHC’s holdings in the two blocks encompass 20,860 sq km (8,054 sq miles). Both blocks are located on the north flank of the Doba/Doseo basin, where Esso and other operators have made discoveries exceeding 1.29 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
The regional geology of Chari-Ouest III and BDS 2008 blocks is dominated by the Pan African Shear Zone and associated rift basins. Esso and partners have been active in exploration and development projects in the area for decades.
“Our analysis of gravity, magnetic, and 2-D seismic data shows that ERHC’s Chari-Ouest III and BDS 2008 blocks fall within the prolific Doba/Doseo Basin,” said Martin Wensrich, ERHC’s geoscientist and technical advisor. “Our main area of focus extends 260 km (162 miles) and is on trend and east of the 2011 Benoy-1 discovery by OPIC and north of discoveries by Esso.”
ERHC recently invited eligible contractors to submit expressions of interest in providing environmental impact assessment (EIA), gravity/magnetic, and seismic acquisition services in the focus area.
The OPIC Benoy-1 well drilled a low side fault closure and test flowed oil at a calculated rate of over 2,000 barrels per day from lower Cretaceous fluvial/deltaic sands. Esso's Tega #1 encountered hydrocarbon reserves with an estimated potential of 8 million boe in the Lower Cretaceous "C" sand. The Esso Maku #1 drilled a Lower Cretaceous faulted structure and encountered hydrocarbons with an estimated potential of 21 MM boe.
"Our preliminary projections, based on the technical assessments made by the operator of an adjacent block, suggest the likelihood of at least three prospects with a reasonable chance of success on ERHC's blocks," said Wensrich. "Significant work will of course have to be done to identify the prospects and drill them but if our preliminary projections hold, we think that the combined mean potential may be up to 63 MM boe and the upside exceeding 332 MM boe.”
Apart from its holdings in Chad, ERHC recently signed a PSC with the government of the Republic of Kenya on Block 11A in northwestern Kenya. The company also holds working interests in six blocks in the Nigeria-Sao Tome & Principe Joint Development Zone as well as 100% of Block 4 and Block 11 of the Sao Tome & Principe Exclusive Economic Zone with an option to acquire up to 15% working interests in two other EEZ blocks.