The Tunisian authorities have approved an application from Circle Oil to renew the exploration permit on its Mahdia block.
The permit is being extended for three years until January 2018. The Irish explorer, as operator, currently has a 100% working interest.
The Mahdia permit offshore Tunisia covers an area of 3,024km2, and contains the El Mediouni structure which was drilled by Circle’s EMD-1 well in August 2014. The well encountered notable oil shows.
The extension of the licence carries with it a one exploration well and one appraisal well commitment and a requirement to acquire 300km2 of 3D seismic.
Circle has already had initial expressions of interest from a number of oil and gas companies with the financial strength and industry experience to make them suitable joint venture partners.
Chief executive Mitch Flegg, said: “Circle Oil wishes to place on record our thanks to the Tunisian Consultative Committee on Hydrocarbons. We look forward to continuing to work with them with the aim of delivering a project which would bring considerable benefit to the people of Tunisia and to Circle. We will now move forward with the process of identifying a suitable partner or partners to work with us to realise the value of this exciting discovery.”