Artumas rockets 25% on finding like-minded Africa partners

Published Jul 22, 2009
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Artumas Group announces new discovery in the Msimbati Field in Tanzania-Spotlight

Calgary-based East Africa player Artumas has given France-based oil company Maurel & Prom and Cove Energy until the middle of August to buy into choice acreage onshore and offshore Mozambique and Tanzania — a managerial coup if the partners sign, since the deal spells appraisal-well financing.

Shares in Artumas shot up 25 percent on the news and shocked Oslo brokerages and analysts who had written off the small Canadian oil company.

The Calgarians — faced with debt-financing dues ahead of learning the extent of their prized holdings — are surrounded in the Rovuma Basin by oil-company heavyweights. Now, Maurel & Prom and U.K.-based Cove have been offered options to buy 51 percent holding in Tanzanian gas assets and 34 percent in partly surveyed onshore Mozambique assets.

Artumas is understood to be heeding advice from Norwegian and Netherlands-based financial advisors, and part of that advice suggests also offering the company’s 8.5-percent stake in the promising water off Mozambique.

“This arrangement allows Artumas to undertake (an) appraisal program in the Tanzanian concession and to continue to participate in the next stage of the highly prospective Mozambique exploration programme,” company chief exec Cameron Baron said in a statement.

In Tazania, the company’s gas field already produces directly to the Tanzanian grid, but confirming the size of the gas source with 3D survey gear will now be possible.

The two-country basin called Rovuma may be among the last great unexplored exploration plays in the world (see Scandinavian Oil-Gas Magazine’s, The Last Basin), and Artumas has been part of a rush to seize key areas.

Should the seasoned Africa players sign on, Artumas would earn $12 million in considerations plus a carried share in Tanzanian survey data. Artumas would also earn an option to have covered costs on two appraisal wells if it gives up five percent more on each well.

For its pioneering work in East Africa, Artumas also secured a 0.85-percent royalty on its offshore Mozambique asset and will be convered on an onshore Mozambique well it has a 15-percent stake in.

For its part, Maurel & Prom gains “scale” in its Tanzanian interests, where it holds a 60-percent stake in Bigwa - Rufiji & Mafia block and 50 percent in the Mandawa block. The company’s Mozambique blocks lie near Artumas' gas interests in Tanzania.

Cove, for its part, is run by seasoned U.K.-based Africa explorers, and the three-oil-company combination is already being called a consortium.

Onshore Mozambique, operator Anadarko Petroleum Limited (35 percent), Artumas (49 percent) and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetas E.N.H. (15 percent ) are party to 2D seismic which has mapped a ”significant number of highly prospective leads” and a first well is planned for Q4 2009.

In Area 1 offshore Mozambique, operator Anadarko (36 percent), Artumas (8 percent), Mitsui E&P (20 percent), Videocon (10 percent), Bharat Petroleum (10 percent) and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetas E.P. (15 percent) will benefit from 3,300 sq. kilometres of 3D seismic data shot in 2008.

Offshore mapping "confirms the presence of a large number of prospective structures”, and deepwater 3D has helped site drilling for two of four wells to be started late in 2009.

Elsewhere, Artumas is in control of development at its Mnazi Bay and Msimbati gas fields in the Tanzanian near-shore. Up to 1.26 trillion cubic feet are believed to be in place, drained only by small-scale production equipment.



1 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Gregg Loades
Aug 3, 2009 19:19 [ 1 ]

Good luck in this one of the workers who helped develop the first Mtwara area field I know how much the Tanzania economy would gain from this continued activity.This company brought power to the Mtwara region that was reliable and can given a chance do so to a far greater area. With pwer comes other development as can be seen in Mtwara already

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