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Santos to Put $12 Million into Oil Gas Prospecting in Tajikistan


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KHUJAND (Interfax, Asia-Plus) – The Australian oil company Santos Limited intends to be part of the opening of the West Supetau oil and gas field in Northern Tajikistan and is prepared to spend US $11.7 million on geological prospecting.

According to the Sughd (سغد) regional administration, this issue was discussed in Khujand (خجند) at the end of last week at a meeting of Sughd governor Qohir Rasoulzoda with Mr. Bill Ovenden, Manager Central Asia Exploration at Santos Ltd. Issues related to economic potential of the Sughd province and activities of Santos Ltd in Tajikistan were a major topic of the meeting. The sides also discussed further cooperation prospects. The source says Santos Ltd has worked in Tajikistan since 2008 and its partner there is CJSC Somon Oil.

In the meantime, source in Somon Oil says Santos Ltd will finance exploration of the West Supetau field in Asht district. “An estimated budget for exploration of this field is some US $11.7 million,” he noted. “After the discovery the issue of Santos’s ownership interest in our company will be discussed. We now have two licenses for work on an area of 2,492 km² for seven years.” The source added: “If Somon Oil finds oil or natural gas in northern Tajikistan, the government’s share in profits will amount to 50%.”

According to the statistical data from the Sughd regional administration, 8,600 tons of oil and 4.3 million m³ of natural gas have been produced in northern Tajikistan over the first seven months of this year.

On July 12, 2011, Manas Petroleum Corp (Switzerland) had said that a second seismic survey has begun on CJSC Somon Oil Co.’s Chkalovsk and West Supetau licenses in Tajikistan. The program includes up to 115 line-km on Chkalovsk and up to 659 line-km on West Supetau. Somon Oil, a 90% owned subsidiary of DWM Petroleum AG, is seeking permits to drill on both licenses.

Last June, Somon Oil signed the agreement for Seismic Services with the Tajikistan branch of the Kazakh company, DANK Scientific Industrial Firm. DANK has extensive experience in the hydrocarbon exploration industry performing seismic work in the larger Caspian region. DANK also performed Somon’s seismic survey in 2010. This seismic survey is being carried out to improve the quality of the existing prospect data, and hence increase the chances of success of the exploratory wells to be drilled upon completion and interpretation of the new seismic data. The first well is to spud at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

Santos Ltd is a large Australian oil and gas exploration company. Its name is an acronym for South Australia Northern Territory Oil Search. Santos is Australia’s largest domestic gas producer, supplying sales gas to all mainland Australian states and territories, ethane to Sydney, and oil and liquids to domestic and international customers.

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