Upland Resources said that its application for an exclusive license for hydrocarbon exploration and appraisal in onshore northern Tunisia has been accepted by the Hydrocarbon Consultative Committee (HCC) of the Tunisian government.


Image: Onshore drilling. Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles/Freedigitalphotos.net.


The exclusive licence for exploration and appraisal covers 4,004km2 of attractive open acreage comprising the Saouf Permit.

As indicated by Upland’s technical work on the area, the Company believes there is the potential for very substantial quantities of recoverable gas within the permit area. The Company’s exploration plans are also partly de-risked by an existing gas discovery in the area made 50 years ago, before the advent of local gas markets.

The desirability of the acreage is further enhanced by the existing gas pipelines that cross the permit area: these currently have spare capacity and provide access to attractive existing local gas markets.

The permit also allows the Company further scope to build on this initial acreage position.

Upland will act as operator and hold a majority stake in the permit. In the event of a new discovery the state oil company ETAP (as joint venture partner) would have a right to “back-in” for a minority stake by paying its share of past costs and funding its share of future costs.

Upland has offered a work programme that includes an initial new 2D seismic survey, which the Company is fully funded to undertake, followed by drilling one or more new wells, drilling of any wells being conditional on the results of the seismic survey.

Award of the licence is subject to Upland lodging a bank guarantee, for which the Company is also fully funded, and final approval by the HCC.

The Company will provide further details of the permit and its potential in due course.

Upland Resources CEO Steve Staley said: “As a team, we have several decades of experience and knowledge of exploring in Tunisia. We believe that Saouaf will form an important part of Upland’s portfolio and will be integral to our strategy of acquiring high impact, quality assets, as already illustrated by our farm-in to the Wick prospect.

“With the demand for gas supporting prices, I see this as an exciting opportunity for Upland and look forward to providing more details to shareholders in due course. This opportunity would fit well with the timeframe for the Wick well, which is to spud in September 2018.”

Source: Company Press Release