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Kewin Mc Knight
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Manas Petroleum Tajik Seismic Program Commenced
This seismic is to further define and analyze the extension of the Tuzluk structural trend (prospects delineated in the Kyrgyz Tuzluk license) and mature a number of Tajik prospects to drillready status on this trend in the Manas Western license area in Tajikistan. Somon has identified 7 large underthrust prospects that are located close to existing oil fields and which were originally identified by soviet seismic and by a previous 123 KM 2D seismic acquired by Somon during December 2007 and June 2008. Manas believes that the potential size of the Tajik resources is similar to that of the Manas Kyrgyz license area.
Once these seismic results are processed, interpreted and integrated with the preexisting data, which is expected during May 2010, these prospects will be considered as candidates for a 2011 deep well drilling program.
The contract for the 2D seismic program has been awarded to the large Kazakh based geophysical firm DANK Scientific Industrial ("Dank"). Dank is utilizing a 2D/3D compatible vibrator crew for the work.
Somon has established an office in Khudjand, the northern capital of Tajikistan, in order to technically supervise the program and to provide ongoing local support for the licensing. The Somon Khudjant office has hired a team of qualified geophysicists and permitting experts for the acquisition process.
The total costs of the program are expected to be approximately US $ 3.0 million; these costs are funded by Santos International Ventures Pty Ltd. ("Santos") (a wholly owned subsidiary of "ASXLtd"-STO) as part of the option farm out agreement. As previously announced, in December 2007 Manas entered into an option farm out agreement with Santos for the Tajik licenses. Should Santos exercise their option to farmin, they will fund a phased US $ 74 million seismic, exploration and appraisal drilling program, with Manas retaining a 20% carried interest. Santos may withdraw from the program after drilling four exploration wells (end of Phase 2 and US $ 51 million expenditure).
With this program, Somon will also meet all of the work and capital expenditure commitments through December 31st, 2010 for Somon's western license area.
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