Statoil and partner Empresa Nicaraguense del Petroleo (Petronic) have secured licenses coving an area of 16,000km² in the Sandino Basin, offshore Nicaragua.
The lisences in the largely unexplored area will be operated by Statoil with 85% equity in partnership with Petronic, which would own the remaining equity.
Statoil exploration activities in the Western Hemisphere senior vice-president Nick Maden said: "Offshore the Nicaraguan Pacific is virtually untested and the awards of new acreage in this frontier area are in line with our exploration strategy of access at scale.
"This is a long-term opportunity with high subsurface uncertainty, but with impact potential. This position strengthens and develops a wide set of the optionality in Statoil’s long-term international portfolio."
According to the company, the licence awards represent a company’s entry into Nicaragua, which it enters an early exploration phase and with a exploration programme that will be performed in phases.
During the initial exploration phase that would be carried out for a period of two and half years the company’s work commitments include re-processing of 2D seismic.
As part of the works, Statoil will also acquire new 2D seismic data and geology and geophysics studies.
Based on the information obtained from initial studies and a seismic survey, Statoil will take further steps for licenses.
The consortium of Statoil and Petronic submitted a request to the Nicaraguan Ministry of Energy of Mines (MEM) in September 2014 to request start of negotiations for concession contracts offshore Nicaragua’s Pacific coast.
Image: Statoil exploration activities in the Western Hemisphere senior vice-president Nick Maden. Photo: courtesy of Ole Jørgen Bratland.