Total to invest $200 mln in Sao Tome oil block


French oil group Total SA will invest $200 million in 2012 drilling an oil block in a Joint Development Zone (JDZ) between Sao Tome and Nigeria, said a Total executive.

Francois Le Cocq, speaking after a meeting of the three partners in Sao Tome, told a news conference that drilling is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year.
“We have a very ambitious program that consists of drilling two holes in Block 1… it is an investment of approximately $200 million,” said le Cocq, a managing director at Total, Reuters reports.

Total said last year that it had acquired Chevron’s 45.9 percent interest in Block 1 in the JDZ, which it will operate in partnership with Addax Petroleum, Dangote Energy Equity Resources and Sasol Exploration and Production Nigeria.

The oil find, if successful, will be a first for Sao Tome, a tiny Atlantic archipelago nation where previous explorations attempts have failed to find oil in commercially viable quantities.