|By Daniel Keeney||
|July 20, 2012 03:17 PM EDT||
ERHC Energy Inc. (OTCBB: ERHE), a publicly traded American company with oil and gas assets in Sub-Saharan Africa, has announced that the Government of the Republic of Chad has issued an Exclusive Exploration Authorization (EEA) to ERHC in respect to the three blocks covered by ERHC's Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in Chad. The EEA, issued in accordance with the PSC, authorizes ERHC to undertake oil and gas exploration operations in the Chari-Ouest III, BDS 2008 and Manga Blocks in Chad, which are covered by the PSC.
The initial term of the EEA is for five years and can be renewed for a further three years.
"With the issuance of the EEA, ERHC can now commence its Chad exploration work program in earnest," said ERHC's President and CEO Peter Ntephe. "ERHC's goal is to advance quickly toward the identification of leads and prospects and thereafter to drill as quickly as the circumstances permit."
ERHC plans to focus its work program initially on the BDS 2008 and Chari Ouest III Blocks in Southern Chad. ERHC has 100 percent of the interest in BDS 2008 and a 100 percent interest in half of Chari-Ouest III. ERHC's holdings in the two Blocks encompass 20,860 square kilometers or 5.155 million acres. Both Blocks are located on the north flank of the Doba/Doseo basin, where Esso and other operators have made discoveries exceeding 1.29 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The regional geology of Chari-Ouest III and BDS 2008 Blocks is dominated by the Pan African Shear Zone and associated rift basins. Esso and partners have been active in exploration and development projects in the area for decades.
"Our analysis of gravity, magnetic and 2D seismic data shows that ERHC's Chari-Ouest III and BDS 2008 Blocks fall within the prolific Doba/Doseo Basin," said ERHC's Geoscientist and Technical Advisor Martin Wensrich. "Our main area of focus extends 260 kilometers and is on trend and east of the 2011 Benoy-1 discovery by OPIC and north of discoveries by Esso."
ERHC recently invited eligible contractors to submit expressions of interest in providing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), gravity/magnetic and seismic acquisition services in the focus area.
The OPIC Benoy-1 well drilled a low side fault closure and test flowed oil at a calculated rate of over 2,000 barrels per day from lower Cretaceous fluvial/deltaic sands. Esso's Tega #1 encountered hydrocarbon reserves with an estimated potential of 8 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE) in the Lower Cretaceous "C" sand. The Esso Maku #1 drilled a Lower Cretaceous faulted structure and encountered hydrocarbons with an estimated potential of 21 MMBOE.
"Our preliminary projections, based on the technical assessments made by the operator of an adjacent block, suggest the likelihood of at least three prospects with a reasonable chance of success on ERHC's blocks," said Mr. Wensrich. "Significant work will of course have to be done to identify the prospects and drill them but if our preliminary projections hold, we think that the combined mean potential may be up to 63 MMBOE and the upside exceeding 332 MMBOE."
Apart from its holdings in Chad, ERHC recently signed a PSC with the Government of the Republic of Kenya on Block 11A in northwestern Kenya. The Company also holds working interests in six Blocks in the Nigeria-São Tomé & Príncipe Joint Development Zone (JDZ) as well as 100 percent of Blocks 4 and 11 of the São Tomé & Príncipe Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with an option to acquire up to 15 percent working interests in two other EEZ Blocks.
About ERHC Energy
ERHC Energy Inc. is a Houston-based independent oil and gas company focused on growth through high impact exploration in Africa and the development of undeveloped and marginal oil and gas fields. ERHC is committed to creating and delivering significant value for its shareholders, investors and employees, and to sustainable and profitable growth through risk balanced smart exploration, cost efficient development and high margin production. For more information, visit www.erhc.com.