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    Upland Signs Licence Permit with Tunisia


The deal allows Upland to market some of its share, rather than wait to be approached by interested companies.

by: William Powell

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Africa, Corporate, Exploration & Production, Political, Ministries, News By Country, Tunisia

Upland Signs Licence Permit with Tunisia

Upland Resources signed permit documents for the exclusive Saouaf hydrocarbon exploration and appraisal licence in onshore northern Tunisia June 28, it said July. The agreement allows Upland to actively market participation in the Saouaf Licence, whereas previously it could only receive unsolicited expressions of interest. It has already had such expressions from several companies, including major international and national oil and gas companies, it said.

The highly gas-prospective Saouaf Licence covers 4,004 km2, is operated by Upland Saouaf and is held 50/50 in the joint names of Upland Saouaf and state Etap.

Field visits have revealed the presence of additional surface oil seeps that indicate a significant oil play may also be possible, in addition to the 0.4-4 trillion ft³ of recoverable gas, on a P10-90 range, averaging 2 trillion ft³ and with 42mn barrels of oil.

It said the desirability of the acreage is further enhanced by attractive wholesale gas prices, a strong demand for gas and  the existing gas pipelines that cross the licence area: these have spare capacity and provide access to local gas markets.

The Saouaf Licence is for an initial term of two years and may be converted and thereby extended in term at Upland Saouaf’s option as long as the work commitments of the initial term have been fulfilled within the two years. The commitments for the next phase include drilling one new well, it said.

Upland has organised for a $1mn bank guarantee to be lodged in favour of the Tunisian government against these first phase work commitments. This is in place and will be released in a phased manner, as the work programme progresses.

Upland further said it was making good progress in its assessment of a number of possible acquisitions of producing assets in Tunisia and, though it is not certain that an acquisition will be made, an update will be provided to the market in due course.

CEO Steve Staley said the June 28 signature allowed Upland to move forward with its plans in the Saouaf Licence area while continuing to pursue other ventures in Tunisia, Sarawak and the North Sea.