Nigeria’s Atlas Petroleum International has objected to Vaalco Energy’s announced plans to develop the Venus field, in Equatorial Guinea.
A statement from Atlas said Vaalco should refrain from its activities.
“Any assertion by a company that has decided drill and develop an oil field in the media are wrong,” the privately owned Nigerian company said.
Vaalco reported earlier this week that the Equatorial Guinea government had approved the Venus plan. The company expects the work to cost a total of $310 million, with production starting in 2026. It will ramp up to 15,000 barrels per day, the company said, targeting gross reserves of 23.1 million barrels.
Atlas said it was in “constant communication” with the Equatorial Guinea government. The company said it had not received any notification from the government or Gepetrol saying the licence and interest had been cancelled.
Atlas continues to be an active investor in Block P, it said. “Any claims to the contrary by Vaalco or any company are false, outrageous and misleading. Atlas has not relinquished any part of its interest. Atlas has does not intend to walk away from Block P.”
The Nigerian company has a 34.13% stake in Block P. Vaalco, announcing its plan, said Atlas was not taking part in the Venus development. As a result, Vaalco has an 80% stake in the field, while Gepetrol has 20%.
A source close to Vaalco said Atlas had multiple opportunities to exercise its rights to participate in the Venus field but did not do so.
Atlas, on its website, has noted that Block P consists of the Venus development area and an exploration area.
In addition to its plans for Venus, Vaalco is also working on a merger proposal with Egypt-focused TransGlobe Energy. The latter had been due to hold a shareholder vote on September 29 but has pushed this back to October 7.