July 27, 2011 / 10:49 AM / 7 years ago

China's Yan Chang hits hydrocarbons in Cameroon

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - China’s Yan Chang Logone Development Holding Company has successfully drilled an oil well in the Zina-Makary block in the Logone Birni basin of the Far North region of Cameroon, the state oil company said late on Tuesday.

An oil rig prepares to drill in western Uganda, near the shores of Lake Albert, June 15, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Cocks

Yan Chang Logone Development signed a $62 million production sharing contract (PSC) with Cameroon in April 2009 for the block, situated in the country’s Far North region.

“This pioneer exploration well (Zina-IX) encountered an 18-meter net thickness of reservoir sandstones impregnated with liquid hydrocarbons,” said the media release by the National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH), adding the data was being evaluated for a possible production test later.

“We are excited but are cautiously awaiting the final well tests, which I hope will confirm the discovery and pave the way for an eventual commerciality,” said SNH Executive General Manager Adolphe Moudiki.

Yan Chang Logone Chief Executive Officer Wei Wang said the results would “motivate a future ambitious exploration program in Cameroon.”

The Zina-Makary block belongs to the same geological system as Doba and Doseo basins, where Chadian crude oil is produced.

Cameroon became a modest crude oil exporter in 1977, with production peaking at 185,000 barrels a day in 1986. Oil production in 2010 averaged at around 64,000 barrels per day.

SNH blames the steady decline in oil output in the Central African country on maturing oilfields and security concerns in the main operation zone of Rio del Rey basin in the Gulf of Guinea, which accounts for 95 percent of oil exports.

Production is seen falling for the rest of this year before re-bounding in 2012 when new wells are expected to go into production.

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