The AIM listed oil & gas exploration company Sterling Energy Plc has announced it has received a Ministerial and Presidential approval was granted in October 2014 to extend the current phase of both the Ampasindava and Ambilobe PSCs to July 2016.
These approvals have now been formally published in the Official Gazette of Madagascar, which is the final step in the approval process.
The Ambilobe PSC which was first awarded in 2004 is in Phase 2 of the Exploration Period with all minimum work commitments for the current phase completed.
In December 2013, Sterling completed a farm-out agreement with Pura Vida Mauritius (Pura Vida) under which all costs associated with the acquisition of a discretionary 3D seismic programme, up to a maximum of US$15 million, are carried by Pura Vida.
Sterling and Pura Vida continue with planning of the 3D seismic programme which is expected to commence in March 2015. The Ampasindava PSC was awarded in 2004 and is in Phase 3 of the Exploration Period.
Sterling and Pura Vida each hold a 50% interest in the Ambilobe Block with Sterling as operator.
In the Ampasindava block Sterling holds a 30% non-operated working interest and it is operated by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production (Northern Madagascar) Limited (ExxonMobil), who hold a 70% working interest.
Under the terms of the farm-in by ExxonMobil in 2005, Sterling’s share of exploration costs in this block is carried up to a fixed gross amount.
“We are pleased to receive approval for the extension of the current periods on both the Ambilobe and Ampasindava Blocks. Work continues on understanding the subsurface potential of these two very large, undrilled exploration areas,’’ Sterling Energy Executive Chairman Alastair Beardsall said reacting to the extension.