Russian company bags S.Leone oil stake

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Russia's Luk Oil Company has acquired a 49 percent stake in a petroleum agreement for an offshore block in Sierra Leone from Nigeria's Oranto Petroleum, a press release said Saturday said.

Oranto said "the mandatory exploratory programme within the framework of the agreement provides for the drilling of one exploration well before 2013".

"The SL-5-11 offshore block with an area of 4,022 square kilometres is located in the territorial waters of Sierra Leone on the shelf and continental slope of the Atlantic Ocean."

According to the release "the water depth within the block territory varies from 100 m to 3.3 km".

"3D seismic surveys have been conducted at the block revealing several promising structures," it added.

It said the block was "part of the Sierra Leone and Liberia geological basin where a number of major oil fields have been discovered during the last two years providing its potential productivity".

A seismic survey exploration is currently underway by two oil companies, African Petroleum Corporation and European Hydrocarbons, in Block SL-3 offshore.

The parliament in Sierra Leone ratified a 94-page petroleum agreement in July which grants petroleum companies a 30-year duration for oil exploration with a 10-year extension.

Petroleum exploration offshore in the west African state began in the 1970s and drilling in 2009 led to the discovery of oil, according to ministry of mineral resources documents.

© 2011 AFP

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