Madagascar, also known as the Malagasy Republic, is a large island republic situated in the Indian Ocean, 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa with a modest upstream oil industry. The existence of oil and gas reserves has been confirmed but the territory is considered to be both underexplored and underexploited. The island produces a modest amount of crude and gas per annum. Developing Madagascar’s oil and gas resources is a cornerstone of a government plan to liberalise and privatise the country’s economy and move towards a free market.

The history of exploration in Madagascar began in the earlier part of this century when two giant exhumed oil fields, Bemolanga and Tsimiroro were discovered. Most of the drilling work was carried out in the years 1945-1965. However, political unrest and a socialist government discouraged exploration activity in the 1970’s and 1980’s, although some drilling was done by Mobil, Occidental, Agip, Amoco, Shell, BP and Maxus. No commercial discoveries were made but dry gas, wet gas, light oil and heavy oil have been identified along the island’s western coastline.

An exploration agreement was signed between the Madagascan government and Triton Energy for the 28,170 square kilometre Ambilobe licence north of Nosy Be as part of a series of offshore permits that Madagascar prepared for sale in early 1995. In 1998, Triton relinquished the western portion of this tract corresponding to 37% of the original allocation. Triton also relinquished its rights to the Cape Sainte Marie region which it had acquired in 1995.

In 1997, Gulfstream Resources Canada obtained two licences, Tsiribihina in the Morondova basin and Antonibe Offshore in the Majunga basin covering 26,700 square kilometres and 5,200 square kilometres respectively. Its partner was OMNIS with 18% and 20% interests respectively. Subsequently, International Petroleum Consultants Inc acquired 2% of the OMNIS share in the Antonibe block.

Madagascar Hunt Oil acquired 100% rights to the Bemolanga, Majunga and Tsimoro Blocks under production sharing contracts signed in 1997 and 1998.

In 2001 Chevron Corp. (then Texaco) discovered layers of crude in Morondava and Tulear, in western Madagascar.

Organisations (7)
Jovenna, Madagascar Oil SA, Majunga Oil SARL, Simon Petroleum Technology Ltd, Société Malgache de Raffinage, Solitany Malagasy, Vanco Madagascar Ltd. :[ Add More ]

Facilities (11)
Block 1001/1002 – Ambilobe – Madagascar, Block 2101 – Antonibe – Madagascar, Block 2102 – Majunga – Madagascar, Block 2103 – Majunga South, Block 3102 – Bemolanga, Block 3104 – Tsimiroro, Block 3105 – Manambolo, Block 3105 – Tsiribihina, Block 3106 – Morondava, Block 3107 – Mananadaza, Solima Refinery

Shaun Bakamoso

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