Total to spend $200m on JDZ drilling in 2012

3 December 2011, Sweetcrude, Sao Tome – Total, the French oil group, says it will invest $200 million in drilling an oil block in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) owned jointly by Nigeria and Sao Tome & Principe in 2012.

Francois Le Cocq, managing director at Total, said in Sao Tome that drilling would commence in the first quarter of the year.

Reuters quoted him as telling a news conference after a meeting of the three partners: “We have a very ambitious programme that consists of drilling two holes in Block 1… it is an investment of approximately $200 million.”

The news came after authorities said Wednesday that indications of ‘commerically viable’ oil had been found in the exploration block.

Total said last year that it had acquired Chevron’s 45.9% interest in Block 1 in the JDZ, which it will operate in partnership with Addax Petroleum, Dangote Energy Equity Resources and Sasol Exploration and Production Nigeria.

The oil find, if successful, will be a first for Sao Tome, a tiny Atlantic archipelago nation where previous exploration attempts have failed to find oil in commercially viable quantities.

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