Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island in the world and is located off the southeastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Formerly a French Colony, it gained independence in 1960, with the presidential and government elections of early 2014 achieving political stability, full international recognition and lifting of all remaining sanctions.
Three key hydrocarbon sedimentary basins have been identified in the western part of the island (Ambilobe, Majunga and Morondava).
Basin fill sediments comprise of the Karoo and post-Karoo formations similar to those found elsewhere in eastern Africa. In the early 1900's a number of shallow wells drilled across Madagascar encountered hydrocarbons, yet despite sporadic petroleum exploration activities from 1960 onwards, interest in Madagascar was really only sparked by the discovery of the Bemolanga and Tsimiroro oil fields in 2006. Madagascar is said to currently hold hydrocarbon in place resources of around 30 billion barrels.
In October 2013, Oyster closed an agreement to acquire Candax Madagascar's 10% WI in the onshore Antsiranana concession Block 1101, and following exit by its former partner (due to corporate administration/bankruptcy) in Q4 2015, Oyster today is the sole working interest holder .
Antsiranana Block 1101
Block 1101 covers approximately 11,200 square kilometers in the east of the Ambilobe Basin. It was originally licensed in 2006 to Candax Madagascar Ltd (Candax) as the Operator and East Africa Exploration Ltd (EAX), with an effective date of July 30th 2007.. Oyster's has a long history in the block, as three of Oysters executive's led the operations as part of the Candax team and were involved with the exploration leadership until 2011.
Exploration activities have included the interpretation of existing aeromagnetics data, three campaigns of geological fieldwork, the acquisition and interpretation of an airborne gravity and magnetics survey, plus two 2D seismic campaigns and in late 2014 a 2,000m drilling and coring program which recovered approximately 1,800 meters of core from 4 locations.The three areas of primary interest are:
- Ankaramy: where in 1902 the drilling of a borehole encountered hydrocarbon deposits at depths less than 200 meters, and the 2014 drilling & coring program, twinning the 1902 borehole, encountered light oil shows of >30 meters gross.
- Ambilobe: where 2 prospects of ~3.9 Billion BBL (STOIIP) have been identified. A drilling decision on these prospects is subject to further seismic.
- Ampasindava: An area with extensive reported seeps of mainly Jurassic and also Cretaceous, and a prospect identified with up to ~10 Billion BBL (STOIIP). The prospect target depths are located at approximately 500 meters with Isalo reservoir thickness estimated at > 1500m.
Drilling is scheduled on the Ampasindava prospect in 2017, and being located onshore approximately 3km from the coast; a fast track development of the field could be based on producing directly to an FPSO located offshore.