Hyperdynamics holds a 37% working interest in one of the largest offshore exploration concessions in West Africa, spanning 18,750 square kilometers offshore Republic of Guinea. The concession is operated by Tullow Oil.
Multiple play types, leads and prospects have been identified in this largely unexplored basin at the intersection of several prospective exploration trends within the Atlantic Transform Margin.
We are encouraged by recent offshore oil discoveries in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire to the south and east of our concession on the African side of the Atlantic, as well as discoveries offshore Brazil and French Guiana in South America, which abutted West Africa 100 million years ago before tectonic plate shifts separated the two continents.
In December 2012 Tullow Oil purchased a 40% working interest in the Guinea concession and assumed operatorship in April 2013. Tullow has been one of the most active and successful independent operators working offshore West Africa, operating or partnering in most of the discoveries in the trend. Tullow’s experience in drilling operations – especially in the Atlantic Transform Margin – along with its access to rigs and other equipment, will continue to be an asset to the Guinea project.
As part of the sale, Hyperdynamics received $27 million from Tullow as reimbursement for past exploration expenditures. Tullow also agreed to pay Hyperdynamics’ participating interest share of drilling costs for one deep-water exploration well, up to a net $37 million. If an appraisal of the initial exploration well is drilled, Tullow will also pay our proportionate share of the costs, up to $37 million.
The third member of the Consortium is Dana Petroleum, which purchased a 23% working interest in the Guinea concession in early 2010. Dana was acquired by the Korean National Oil Corporation in 2011.
Exploration Work Conducted to Date
We have conducted extensive technical studies of the area, including 17,800 kilometers of 2D seismic and 7,635 square kilometers of 3D seismic in five separate surveys covering both shallower water and deep water portions of the Guinea concession.
Hyperdynamics drilled the Sabu-1 exploration well in late 2011 and early 2012 in 730 meters of water as operator of the project. The Sabu-1 reached planned total depth of 3,600 meters below the waterline, testing an Upper Cretaceous section of the prospect. The well encountered oil shows, and well-log interpretations indicated the presence of residual oil in non-commercial quantities. Subsequent analysis of rock samples from the well confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons in fluid inclusions in the rock.
We believe the Sabu-1 well was not commercial because of the lack of a reservoir seal such as marine shales or reservoir-seal pairs needed for a commercial accumulation. We also believe that the evidence that hydrocarbon generation has taken place in the basin and the presence of reservoir-quality carbonates and sandstones in the well enhances the prospectivity of our concession.
The Consortium has selected the Fatala turbidite fan prospect for future ultra-deep-water exploration drilling, based on its evaluation of a 4,000-square-kilometer 3D seismic survey covering the deep water section of the concession. The spud date for this well has been temporarily suspended pending further discussions among the partners. Under the terms of the Production Sharing Contact with the Government of Guinea, the next well must commence drilling no later than September 2016.
Hyperdynamics and its partners have also identified a significant inventory of other leads and prospects in deep water portions of the Guinea concession.
Production Sharing Contract
The Consortium sent notice in September 2013 to the Government of Guinea of its intention to renew the second exploration period to September 2016 and identified the coordinates of the area to be relinquished as required under the PSC.
The second exploration period may be extended to September 2017 to allow the completion of a well in process and to September 2018 to allow the completion of the appraisal of any discovery that is made.