Indonesia has named Conrad Asia Energy as the winning bidder for two oil and gas exploration blocks located off the northern Sumatra coast.

The blocks, Offshore North West Aceh (ONWA) and Offshore South West Aceh (OSWA) PSCs, are located offshore the northwest and southwest of the Aceh Province of Indonesia.

Covering a total acreage of 9,182km², the ONWA block comprises the Meulaboh-1 and Meulaboh East-1 gas discovery wells. The 10,700km² OSWA block contains the Singkel-1 gas accumulation.

Conrad, which is yet to accept the award, will hold a 100% operatorship stake in the two blocks for a period of 30 years.

The firm will have the right to develop existing discoveries at the blocks and explore for additional resources.

In a press statement, Conrad said: “Due to the deep-water environment and the lack of exploration in large parts of each block, notwithstanding the existing discoveries in the shallow water, the blocks are deemed by the Indonesian authorities as ‘frontier’, with corresponding fiscal arrangements which are attractive and favourable compared to other Indonesian PSCs.”

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Conrad plans to carry out independent prospectivity reviews of the exploration potential of the two deep-water PSCs.

Conrad managing director and CEO Miltos Xynogalas said: “The award of these two PSCs is a transformational event for Conrad as these blocks contain discoveries that significantly increase our resource base and offer the opportunity for Conrad to add several gas projects to its existing large Mako gas project. Conrad’s initial scoping study of gas markets in the region has been positive and we are optimistic of commercialising these discoveries.

“The potential upside for Conrad is the exploratory opportunity in the deep water, where we have already identified a host of high impact gas plays.

“These are potentially each multi trillion cubic feet in size, with gas chimneys and flat spots, indicating evidence of hydrocarbons. Our best leads are in 1,000 metres of water which, by global standards, is not deep. Conrad has a 100% working interest in these blocks and will be seeking partners to join the exploration efforts in these areas.”

Conrad will invest $15m at each of the blocks as part of the work programme, which will also include geological studies for 2023, 500km² of 3D seismic acquisition for 2024, and well drilling in 2025.