Wednesday, May 09, 2012 -
The Tajik government has ratified a production sharing agreement (PSA) with Somon Oil, the company said on Tuesday.
Somon is 90 percent owned by Manas Petroleum Corp.
The PSA was signed by Tajik Minister of Energy and Industry Gul Sherali and Somon Director-General Khurshed Bobojonov.
It gives Somon exclusive rights to explore, develop, and carry out production activities in its contract area in the northern province of Sughd.
"We are very pleased to have signed this PSA with the government of the Republic of Tajikistan, as it represents a further milestone in the growth story of our company and our focus on Central Asia and East Asia,” Somon chairman Heinz Scholz was cited as saying in the company statement.
“Tajikistan, with one of the last frontier high-potential basins, can now be properly explored," he added.
The PSA also opens the way for Santos International Ventures to acquire a 70 percent stake in Somon. Under an agreement with Somon stakeholders, Santos has three months to exercise that option, which would permit it to farm in with the project.
The announcement also noted that Somon has completed a seismic program that began in 2011 in preparation for drilling.
The company said that drilling of the first well is expected to begin by the end of this year.