Ophir Energy Relinquishes Kenya’s Block L9

Kenya’s Block L9 operator has relinquished its interest in the Lamu basin license according to its JV partner Australia’s FAR Ltd.

“During the quarter, Ophir Energy, the Operator of the L9 permit, informed FAR that it had relinquished the L9 permit.”

Located in water depths ranging from 300m to 1,400m block L9 was awarded to Ophir in 2011 and covers an area of 5,100km2. To date, only one well has been drilled in the L9 block, the Simba-1 well in 1979, which encountered gas shows. Oil seeps have also been identified to the north of the block.

Block L9 contains two principal play systems, an inboard carbonate play and an outboard clastic play covered by a relatively dense grid of high-quality seismic data together with over 2,000 sq km of modern 3D seismic surveys. The carbonate play was tested by BG in Block L10A with the Sunbird-1well drilled in 2014 which reportedly “intersected a gross hydrocarbon column of 44 metres in the Miocene reef”.

Ophir has been in the process of exiting Kenya and Seychelles since 2015 which it described as low-priority assets. Last year the company exited its Seychelles acreage

“We are exiting our low-priority assets in order to focus our people and capital on maximising value creation from high-priority acreage. As a result, during 2015 we exited – or started the process of exiting – from Kenya, Seychelles and a number of blocks in Indonesia (South Sokang, Kofiau, Halmahera Kofiau, Kutai) and Tanzania (Block 3, Block 7 and East Pande),” the company said in its 2015 annual report.

FAR and Ophir energy have been holding discussions regarding FAR’s entry into the block with FAR seeking to resolve the status of its interest following the expiry of the assignment agreement between the two partners on 23 July 2014.

First exploration well was expected to be drilled in 2014

FAR holds a 30% interest in L9.

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