Total today announces that it has acquired from Oil Search a 40% interest in the Block 3 exploration license in Yemen, which it will operate. The license covers an area of 2,954 square kilometers in the eastern section of the Marib Basin. The acquisition is subject to the approval of Yemen’s Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources.
Total’s partners will be the Austrian OMV, the Czech MND and state-owned Yemen General Corporation for Oil and Gas (YGC). Once the transaction has been completed, the joint-venture will resume exploration with a seismic survey which could be followed by a drilling of an exploration well.
Arnaud Breuillac, Senior Vice-President Middle East, Exploration & Production Total, commented today: “With this acquisition, Total is pursuing its strategy of expanding its exploration and production activities in Yemen, in high-potential geological basins that offer a close fit with existing projects”.
Total Exploration & Production in Yemen
Total is present in Yemen since 1987 and its local production has grown to 86,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2011. The Group holds producing assets in the country’s two main oil basins, as operator of East Shabwa Block 10 in the Masila Basin with a 28.57% interest and as a partner with a 15% stake in Jannah Block 5 in the Marib Basin.
In addition, Total participates in onshore exploration licenses through a 40% interest in Blocks 69 and 71, and through operatorship of Blocks 70 and 72 with an interest of 50.1% and 36% respectively.
Total is also the main shareholder (39.62%) in Yemen LNG, which operates a liquefaction plant in Balhaf, on the southern coast. The plant started production in 2009 and is supplied with feed gas from Block 18 in central Yemen’s Marib region via a 320 kilometers gas pipeline. The plant has a nominal capacity of 6.7 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year.
In Yemen, as in all its host countries, Total is committed to developing the local oil industry while recruiting and providing professional training to local workers. In doing so, Total has strengthened the local economy. In addition, Total has made health, safety and environmental awareness a core focus.