Ophir Energy has signed a new production sharing contract (PSC) with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea and national oil company GEPetrol for Block EG-24 in offshore Rio Muni.

With this new contract, Ophir Energy has entered a second oil and gas block in the country.

The company is currently building a deepwater floating liquefied natural gas project in the Block R of Equatorial Guinea.

Block EG-24 is one of 20 exploration areas marketed during the EG Ronda 2016 licensing round.

Situated towards the west of the producing fields Ceiba and Okume, the block covers an area of nearly 3,537km².

Republic of Equatorial Guinea Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said: “Ophir Energy is already an innovative and committed investor in Equatorial Guinea through Block R and the Fortuna FLNG project.

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“We are delighted to welcome our partners to explore Block EG-24, which shows amazing signs of yielding enormous oil and gas reserves.

“This new deal is a vote of confidence in the oil and gas sector in Equatorial Guinea.”

“This new deal is a vote of confidence in the oil and gas sector in Equatorial Guinea and the result of a very well-received global licensing round for a country like ours that has a drilling success rate above worldwide average.”

The Block EG-24 PSC provides Ophir an initial exploration period of two sub-periods of two years along with two extensions of one year each.

During the exploration period, it will purchase and process existing seismic readings, as well as acquire and analyse 3,000km² of new 3D data.

If a commercial discovery is made, the PSC mandates a development and production period of 25 years with one five-year extension.

Ophir Energy will operate the block with an 80% interest, while GEPetrol will have the remaining 20% stake.

GEPetrol has the option to increase its stake by additional 10% in the property, subject to commercial discovery.