US-based energy firm Harvest Natural Resources (HNR) has signed a declaration of commerciality (DOC) with the Government of Gabon for the Dussafu block.

HNR has recently received an exclusive exploitation authorisation (EEA) from the government to develop and exploit oil discoveries on the Dussafu block.

The Dussafu Tortue Marin-1 exploratory well on the Dussafu Marin PSC offshore Gabon was drilled by HNR in late 2012.

The EEA allows HNR to exploit the presalt oil discoveries on the Ruche, Tortue, Moubenga and Walt Whitman prospects.

HNR will name the discoveries Ruche A, Ruche B, Ruche C and Ruche D respectively, known collectively as Ruche field.

The EEA covers 850.5km² area and the proposed field development plan (FDP) includes a single floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, as well as subsea wells.

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HNR president & CEO James Edmiston said: "The award of the EEA is a major milestone toward bringing the Dussafu block into production.

"The Dussafu Tortue Marin-1 exploratory well on the Dussafu Marin PSC offshore Gabon was drilled by HNR in late 2012."

"In addition, the area of the EEA should enable an efficient exploitation of the numerous defined undrilled structures immediately adjacent to all four discoveries and, as such, we expect the recoverable resources within the EEA to grow considerably in the coming years."

HNR owns a 66.667% stake in the Dussafu block via its subsidiary Harvest Dussafu, while Panoro Energy holds the remaining 33.333% interest.

Image: Dussafu block and Ruche EEA. Photo: courtesy of Harvest Natural Resources.