Azonto Provides Operations Update in Cote D'Ivoire

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 5/28/2014, Location: Africa

Azonto is pleased to provide the following operations update for its assets in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.

CI-202, Cote d'Ivoire

Vioco Petroleum Limited (Vioco), Azonto's 35% owned affiliate is the operator of Block CI-202. Azonto's partner Vitol E&P Limited (Vitol) holds the remaining 65%.

The project team assembled by Vioco (supported by certain employees from both Azonto as well as Vitol) has made excellent progress in preliminary engineering activities in relation to the development of the Gazelle gas project. These include the offshore platform, a multiphase pipeline to shore, and gas processing facilities. Similar good progress has been made in discussions with the State owned electricity company, CI-Energies, the proposed gas buyer in respect of the gas sales agreement.

Less progress than anticipated has been made in recent months in regard to the proposed gas pipeline from Grand Bassam to Abidjan where the current installed thermal power capacity is located.

Consequently, it has not been possible to progress certain activities, such as detailed discussions with financial institutions (including the World Bank group), to a level that would enable a Final Investment Decision (FID) to be taken by Vioco in 1H 2014, as had previously been anticipated. The base case for the project remains supply of gas via pipeline to Abidjan; however Vioco continues to evaluate temporary power generation at Grand Bassam as a potential interim solution and is currently in active discussions with CI-Energies on this option that Vioco believes is being considered favourably.

Based on recent indications from Vioco, Azonto is confident that FID will be taken before the end of 2014, with first gas following between 16 and 18 months thereafter (by mid 2016).

Vioco's subsurface team is also reviewing the existing discoveries (e.g. Addax, Hippo, Bubale) and additional prospects on the Block with a view to identifying the optimum shallow water prospect for exploration drilling in conjunction with the Gazelle development drilling campaign. Discussions continue regarding how best to pursue potential drilling of the exciting deeper water prospects identified in the Block (e.g. Arius).

Commenting on this announcement, Azonto's Managing Director, Mr. Rob Shepherd said:

"We would obviously like to have seen more tangible progress on the aspects of the overall Gazelle project that are largely outside of Vioco's control, however we remain confident that progress will continue to be made. The CPR we released earlier in May highlights the value to Azonto of the development progressing and, given the compelling economic logic for the Government in Cote d'Ivoire to replace expensive fuel oil with gas, we believe it is in the interest of all parties to see the Gazelle project brought on stream. As such, we, and our partner at Vitol, are confident that we will be in a position to achieve FID by the end of the year.

For more information about related Opportunities and Key Players visit West Africa Projects


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