Adair International Oil and Gas, INC (AIGI) and Occidental and Saba Yemen Oil Sign Production Sharing Agreement on Highly Sought After Exploration Block in Yemen. [Archives:2000/14/Business & Economy]

April 3 2000

Adair Yemen Exploration Limited and partners occidental Yemen Sabatain, INC, and SABA Yemen Oil Company Limited have signed a production sharing agreement with the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources to explore for oil Block 20 in the Republic of Yemen. Adair signed the original memorandum of understanding for this block in October of 1999.
Working interests held in the project are Adair 30%, occidental 50%, and SABA 20%. The working interests as a group are subject to a 5% carried interest held by the Yemen Company for Investments in Oil and Minerals (YICOM) in the concession area.
Block 20 is located in the heart of the prolific production (currently 180,000 barrels of oil per day) operated by Yemen Hunt Oil Company. Cumulative production from this area is projected to approach 1.0 Billion barrels by the end of 2005. The pipelines and export facilities already in place afford the opportunity to bring any newly discovered oil in Block 20 to market within short time frames and at minimal cost. Adair believes that the block could contain up to 340 million barrels of recoverable reserves.
Adair has been named the operator during the exploration phase because of their comprehensive knowledge and experiences in the block. Occidental, with their worldwide expertise in production and development, will assume the role of operator after discovery of commercial reserves. Mr. Richard G. Boyce, President of Adair Exploration INC, has extensive experience in Yemen and was formally Exploration Manager for Yemen Hunt Oil Company.
Adair intends to implement an aggressive commitment by the group to utilize “state of the art” oil and gas exploration technology. Work planned includes acquisition of 3D seismic focused on the six prospects currently mapped with existing 2D seismic data, followed by the drilling of two (2) exploratory wells in the first exploration period and an additional four (4) exploration wells in the optional second exploration period. This represents a minimum financial commitment of $ 16.3 million dollars during the six (6) year exploration period, if the group elects to complete the second exploration period.
“The seismic work will begin immediately upon the ratification of the Agreement by the Yemen government with initial drilling anticipated to begin shortly thereafter”, stated Mr. Richard G. Boyce, President of Adair Exploration, INC.
“The signing of this PSA represents the culmination of over three years of extensive geological evaluation and business development efforts in Yemen by Adair to secure this unique exploration opportunity. Adair also has other investment projects under development in Yemen at this time”, stated Mr. Jalal Alghani, Vice-Chairman of Adair International Oil and gas, INC (AIGI).
Adair International Oil and Gas, INC. (AIGI) whose home office is in Houston, Texas also has interests in the United States in natural gas fired power generation system as well as oil and gas interests in Colombia. Occidental Yemen Sabatain is a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation which is headquartered in Los Anglos, California, USA. Saba Oil and Gas Limited, a private Yemeni company with principal ownership held by Sheikh Mohammed B.Y. Al-Rowaishan. The Al-Rowaishan Group of companies represent major commercial and trading interests in Yemen.
Block 20 Potential:
Within the scope of international exploration projects, the hydrocarbon potential for Block 20 must be characterized as delivering high reward for taking low to moderate risk. Located adjacent to oil production operated by Yemen Hunt, block 20 represents a truly unique exploration opportunity. All elements of the prolifi Alif Petroleum System are well understood and the risks associated with drilling these prospects can be readily documented and addressed. The financial rewards of exploration in this area are substantial. A relatively new production infrastructure is available for the immediate export of any hydrocarbons discovered. When combined with the improved production sharing terms being offered by the Yemen government, the return on investment and short time to positive cash flow ranks this project better than most international exploration projects available today.
The area has undergone exploration drilling by the TOTAL/HUNT group. Some structural targets have already
been drilled and are now developed as fields, other prospects are now recognized as a result of development drilling during recent years. The stratigraphic elements of reservoir development have not been thoroughly explored by the previous operators. Exploration success on this block will be determined in large part by utilizing
the techniques to recognize reservoirs directly from the seismic data and implementing new drilling technology.
An aggressive exploration work program, operated by ADAIR INTERNATIONAL including acquisition of 300 square kilometers of 3D seismic and drilling of six (6) exploratory wells can be completed within the first two years of the program at a cost of less than $40 million USD.
Exploration History
The modern oil industry in the Republic of Yemen began with the discovery of oil by Yemen Hunt Oil Company in 1984. The Alif #1 well, which flowed at a combined rate of 7831 BOPD, sparked off intense industry interest in this previously ignored part of the Arabian Peninsula. Located in what was then North Yemen and now designated as Block 18-Marib, the Alif discovery eventually was developed as a field with oil reserves of 800 million barrels of high quality, light crude. Since the discovery of Alif Field, Hunt and other operators have made fourteen additional commercial discoveries in this same basin in the Alif petroleum system. In 1987, a 440-kilometer pipeline with a designed capacity of 240,000 barrels of oil per day, was completed from the Alif Central Processing Unit (CPU) to a floating terminal located on Ras’ Isa in the Red Sea. Since that time, production from this area has ranged as high as 180,000 BOPD and is currently flowing at 160,000 BOPD.
Oil production is from thick Jurassic aged sandstone reservoirs that are overlain by salt, forming an excellent
top seal to trap hydrocarbons. Typical reservoir thickness in the Alif formation is over 100 meters (300 feet) in net pay thickness of 50 meters (150 feet) with porosities reaching 30% and permeability of 1.0 darcies. Oil from the Alif reservoir typically flows as sustained rates of 2,000-3,000 BOPD. Seismic data (2D) has been very effective in mapping the large faulted anticlinal folds, which form the traps for most major accumulations. 3D seismic surveys are now being implemented and have proved very successful in the exploration for oil in the Alif formation.