Tunisia - The Other Producers.
Growing gas demand for power generation in recent years under-lined Tunisia's need to increase imports from Algeria. A joint-venture company between Libya's NOC and STEG was formed several years ago to work on a 275-km pipeline to supply nat. gas from Mellita in northern-western Libya to Gabes on the Tunisian coast.
Work on the $300m, 1,000 MCM/y pipeline was to begin in April 2006 and to be completed by end-2008. However, this project was later shelved for lack of progress from the Libyan side.
Cygam Energy's unit, Rigo Oil, in February 2006 acquired an exploration permit on the Bazma tract. Rigo had a 100% working interest in this and received offers from other firms to participate in this venture. Bazma, onshore in south-central Tunisia, is the western extension of the Jorf permit where Rigo holds 37.5% in a 400,000-acre block.
Seismic data indicated several potential structures. Prospective Fms included Triassic Tagi sandstones and Permian carbonates (see background in gmt14TunisE&Papr5-10). Tagi produces gas and condensate from the Baguel and Tarfa fields immediately adjacent to the south-western corner of Bazma.
A north-bound pipeline carrying gas and condensate from Baguel and Tarfa crosses Bazma and joins an east-bound pipeline carrying Ordovician gas from el-Franig and Sabria 50 km west of Bazma.
These two pipelines, after traversing the Bazma and Jorf permits, join a major pipeline carrying gas from el-Borma oil and gas field in southern Tunisia to the Gulf of Gabes. A north-bound pipeline carrying crude oil from southern Tunisia runs parallel to the eastern boundary of Bazma, on the Jorf block. It connects to the terminal at La Skhira.
Cygam has re-interpreted extensive seismic data on Bazma and has re-processed selected lines to finalise potential drilling locations. Bazma is the fourth block in Tunisia in which Rigo has an interest.
The 7th November Block - Superior Energy Operations: Canadian Superior Energy on Aug. 27, 2008 signed an EPSA for the offshore 7th of November Block, which the company called its Oasis Project. Canadian Superior and the Tunisian/Libyan company, Joint Exploration, Production, and Petroleum Services Co. (grouped under Joint Oil) also signed a "Swap Agreement" awarding an over-riding royalty interest and optional participating interest to Joint Oil, in Canadian Superior's Mariner Block, offshore, Nova Scotia, Canada.
This represents the first such agreement for either Tunisia or Libya. Joint Oil is owned equally by ETAP and Libya's state entity Oil Holdings. Under the terms of the EPSA, Canadian Superior has been named operator for the 7th of November Block which comprises an area of about 750,000 acres, located some 75 miles offshore the Mediterranean Gulf of Gabes, in water depths ranging from 250-375 feet.
Nearly equal portions of the block fall within the territorial waters of each of Libya and Tunisia. Portions of the multi-prospect block lie along the productive trends of the large el-Bouri (Libya) and Ashtart (Tunisia) oilfields which are reported to have produced over 750m barrels and 250m barrels of oil, respectively. Miskar is in an adjacent block.
A number of highly prospective leads have been identified on the 7th of November Block by Joint Oil and Canadian Superior utilising an existing and a new large seismic data-base. These prospects represent a variety of geological plays and proved petroleum systems.
The exploration work commitment for the first four-year phase of the seven-year exploration period was to include three exploration wells, 300 square miles of 3D seismic, and one appraisal well.
The appraisal well is intended to be the first in a fast-track drilling programme and was be a direct offset to two significant oil and gas discoveries drilled in the 1990s on the Zarat field in an adjacent block. Based on 3D seismic acquired after the finds, a substantial portion of Zarat is reported to extend north into the 7th of November Block.