- For the first time since 1995, oil explorations are to start up in the waters off Seychelles. Earlier discoveries have indicated a potential for commercial production in Seychelles, but exploration efforts so far stalled ten years ago. The government of Seychelles has now accepted a new application from a US prospecting firm to explore oil in its waters.
The application from PetroQuest International Incorporated, a minor oil company registered in the United States, has been accepted by the Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC) and the Seychelles Petroleum Company (SEPEC), according to information released by authorities in Victoria today.
With world oil prices now more attractive for prospectors and demand for petroleum products rising, there is renewed international interest in the search for hydrocarbons in Seychelles, national authorities report.
According to a joint communiqué from SNOC and SEPEC, the Seychelles parties and PetroQuest International have been conducting negotiations that "could lead to the signing of an exploration agreement in the very near future." Explorations would thus commence in the southern parts of the territorial waters of Seychelles.
The communiqué says that SNOC has designated 30,000 square kilometres of areas of the southern Seychelles shelf, the Constant and Topaz banks, Farquhar and Coetivy for exploration by the American company. This corresponds to the areas that were explored prior to August 1995.
According to the Victoria government, "Seychelles has a valuable stock of geological data collected from earlier explorations." SNOC says it will continue to promote Seychellois oil potentials "with the aim of generating exploration interests in our islands."
SNOC is a Seychellois government-owned company, established in 1984 to implement petroleum policies and advise the government in dealing with petroleum-related activities, according to the South African business information provider 'Mbendi'. Since 1995, SNOC has been active in publicising the hydrocarbon potential of the Seychelles to international oil companies, trying to promote further explorations in Seychellois waters.
PetroQuest International is an oil and gas exploration and production company that so far has primarily focused on oil deposits along and in the US part of the Gulf of Mexico. Except for a minor involvement in Tanzanian waters, the company heads no major operations outside the United States.
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