Cooper Energy has entered into a binding letter of intent with Romanian oil and gas company Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) to charter a rig to drill the Hammamet West-3 well offshore of Tunisia.
GSP will charter the jack-up rig GPS Jupiter to drill the well, when drilling operations commence in March 2013.
David Maxwell, Cooper Energy managing director, said signing the letter of intent is an important and key milestone for the Bargou joint venture participants.
"Cooper's contribution to the well will be fully funded up to a gross amount of $26.6m by Dragon Oil and Jacka Resources who have farmed in to the Bargou Exploration Permit," said Maxwell.
The Hammamet West discovery is located on a large anticlinal feature in the Bargou Exploration Permit in water depths of 50m.
Two vertical wells, Hammamet West-1 and Hammamet West-2, were drilled in 1967 and 1990 respectively.
Current drilling at Hammamet West-3 will assess the oil resource within the Abiod Formation and a secondary target will be the Birsa sandstone.
Bargou Joint Venture participants include Cooper Energy Bargou, which is the operator of the well with a 30% interest; Dragon Oil, which has a 55% stake; and Jacka Tunisia Bargou, which holds a 15% interest.