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    Zenith submits bid for Seme


Benin Block 1 contains an estimated 428bn ft3 of recoverable gas, though an earlier attempt to revive production floundered amid low oil prices.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Zenith submits bid for Seme

Zenith Energy is bidding for the award of a nine-year operator licence for Seme oil and gas field, in Block 1 offshore Benin.

The shallow water project, situated 30m off the coast of Benin, previously produced hydrocarbons until 1998. Its reserve base contains an estimated 428bn ft3 of recoverable gas reserves, as well as 28mn barrels of oil. 

A total of 23 wells have been drilled at Block 1, the last well having been sunk in 2009 by South Atlantic Petroleum. 

The scope of the licence agreement entails geological studies focused around Cretaceous formations on Benin's West African coast, the same coastline that has resulted in discoveries in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria.

Andrea, chief executive of Zenith, said: "Block-1 has significant untapped, independently assessed oil and gas reserves, a proven history of material oil production and existing field infrastructure. 

"Benin is a stable and attractive jurisdiction for foreign investment, and we look forward with great enthusiasm to working closely with the local authorities to ensure we achieve a fruitful and enduring partnership in the event our offer is accepted."

Zenith's development plan seeks to redeploy infrastructure that was installed under an earlier plan to revive Seme in 2015. This first iteration stalled due to the lower oil price of that time, but Zenith believes commercial production can be justified in the current high-pricing environment.