Oil exploration in Seychelles takes big step forward

The biggest seabed survey ever carried out in Seychelles will begin in the next few months to identify the best areas for oil drilling in our waters.

The signing of the agreement yesterday morning at Liberty House

This was announced yesterday by the Seychelles Petroleum Company (Sepec) after an agreement was signed with two foreign firms for them to provide geophysical data in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Before the agreement between the three parties was signed at Liberty House, principal secretary for finance Ahmed Afif signed a licence on behalf of the government giving the green light for the project.

The agreement has been drawn up between Sepec, Fugro Data Service AG – a Swiss-based company that provides worldwide technical services in geosciences – and Geomahakarsa Ltd, a Hong Kong-registered leader in seismic data acquisition and geophysical surveys.

The agreement was signed by Sepec chief executive Captain Guy Adam, Fugro’s business development manager Jodie Gillespie and Geomahakarsa’s director of operations in Seychelles Michael A. Kasli.

Speaking after the signing, Capt Adam said it is the result of talks Sepec has been having with PetroQuest International – an energy development firm already involved in oil exploration here – to extend its licence.

He said the two companies, together with PetroQuest and other parties, will carry out a major seismic survey starting in a few months’ time. He is happy we are now at a stage where definite action on drilling is being taken, he added.

Ms Gillespie said Fugro is very encouraged by the oil prospects here in Seychelles, and the agreement will allow them to move forward in the exploration process.

She said the operational phase of the survey will take around three to four months.

Mr Kasli said Geomahakarsa also welcomes the agreement and hopes the oil prospects here will bear fruit.

Sepec has said all the data acquired will be made available for licensing to oil and gas companies keen to explore for hydrocarbons in Seychelles’ EEZ.

The data survey is expected to take place during the last quarter of this year, with the information expected be available for licence around the middle of 2011.

Source: NATION 9-4-10