London-listed Zenith Energy has applied for an extension of the Tilapia license term in the Republic of the Congo, which expired on July 18, 2020.
Zenith's subsidiary in Congo, AAOG Congo continues to operate the Tilapia oilfield on an interim basis following the implementation of a "Plan for the Continuation of Activities" agreed with the national oil authorities.
The license is situated 1.8km offshore and entered into production in 2008. Having been drilled from onshore, there is no requirement for offshore drilling equipment. Oil storage and processing facilities are a 45-minute drive from Point Noire and 17km from the nearest refinery.
Zenith said Monday it had submitted "a comprehensive commercial and technical offer (the "Offer") to the Ministry of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of the Congo for the award of a new 25-year license for the Tilapia oilfield to be named Tilapia II."
The company expects to receive a preliminary indication regarding the possible acceptance of the offer within the next 30 days.
Andrea Cattaneo, Chief Executive Officer of Zenith, commented: "We are very excited about the good progress we have achieved in recent weeks in the Republic of the Congo, specifically in respect of the submission of the Offer for Tilapia II. As is to be expected, the unprecedented world crisis presented by COVID-19 has delayed all activities, including the arranging of meetings to conduct the necessary negotiations prior to submitting the Offer.
The Tilapia asset has transformational production potential and the award of a new 25-year licence will represent the first important successful milestone in our journey in the Congo. It is our hope and expectation that we shall achieve this goal in due course.
I am also pleased to confirm that negotiations are nearing a conclusion with regards to defining a payment plan for the repayment of the US$5.3 million debt owed by Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo to AAOG Congo."