The Autoridade Nacional Do Petroleo (ANP) has approved the Joint Petroleum Development Area’s proposal to vary the production sharing contract (PSC) work programme.

The variation will enable the operator to take a decision on whether or not to drill the fourth commitment well on the JPDA 06-103 PSC if the third well is unsuccessful.

Also, if the operator and the joint venture partners decide not to explore after the third well, the PSC may be relinquished.

The joint venture proposed that a further 140km² of the 3D seismic survey be conducted over part of the Tutuala.

The location of the third well will be finalised after the acquisition and interpretation of the new 3D seismic data.

The ANP has also agreed to an extension for the exploration term up to 16 January 2012.

The joint venture partners in JPDA 06-103 includes VideoCon, GSPC and Bharat PetroResources, each holding 20%, Japan Energy E&P and Pan Pacific Petroleum, with 15% each, and operator Oilex, which holds the remaining 10% interest.

Oilex managing director Bruce McCarthy said the Tutuala Lead, subject to results of the infill 3D seismic survey, has the potential to contain large volumes of oil.