* Deal worth 41 mln euros
* First well drilled by mid-2014
* Galp says block in very shallow water
(Adds COO quotes)
By Andrei Khalip
LISBON, Dec 3 Portuguese oil company Galp
Energia has agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in
Morocco's shallow-water Tarfaya Offshore block from Australia's
Tangiers, which would make it the operator of the
Galp said on Monday the value of the deal, including
Tangiers' past costs and assumption of costs related to the
first exploration well, amounted to $41 million.
"The upside (in Morocco) is that it is in very shallow
water," Galp Chief Operating Officer (COO) Stephen Whyte told
reporters, referring to the lower costs of exploring for oil
close to the surface.
"We know the well is in a working hydrocarbon system because
it is right next to cape Juby," Whyte said. Juby is in a region
in Western Morocco where several blocks are already being
The first well is to be drilled by mid-2014 in the Trident
prospect of the Tarfaya area. Galp said Trident is estimated to
contain 450 million barrels of recoverable reserves and put the
chance of success at 21 percent.
"What's very important here is that we are diversifying.
This time is not just in the Portuguese-speaking world," Whyte
Last week, Galp reached an agreement with Brazil's HRT
Participacoes em Petroleo SA to get a 14 percent
stake in three offshore Namibian oil leases.
Asked whether Galp plans to take more stakes in existing
exploration projects, Whyte said Galp always considers such a
move. "We want to do a mix of farm-ins and bidding rounds. Your
projects get much faster when they are farm-ins."
Galp, mostly a refiner, has been expanding its oil
exploration and production portfolio. It also actively works in
Angola and Mozambique and has various stakes in prolific
deep-water Brazilian oil projects, including the giant Lula/Tupi
Galp shares closed down 0.38 percent on Monday at 11.745
(editing by Jane Baird)