Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) has announced that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has approved a five-year extension of the exploration and production licence for the Ortoire block. We have an 80 percent operating working interest in the Licence, with Heritage Petroleum Company Limited holding the remaining 20 percent working interest.
We were informed by the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries that the GoTT approved a five-year extension of the exploration period of the Ortoire Licence to July 31, 2026. As part of the extension, Touchstone is required to drill three exploration wells to minimum depths of 6,000 true vertical feet prior to the end of the amended Licence term. The three exploration wells are in addition to the five previous wells drilled to date on the property. Similar to the previous minimum work program, we will be responsible for 100 percent of the drilling, completion and testing costs for the three additional exploration wells. Each party to the Licence remains responsible for its working interest costs associated with the development of commercial fields, including expenditures relating to facilities construction and development well drilling.
The Licence extension will permit us to continue exploration operations on acreage that have not already been deemed commercial, and no acreage was surrendered pursuant to the extension. The Licence amendment agreement is now required to be approved by the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs prior to execution by all parties.
Paul Baay, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“The formal approval of Ortoire licence extension provides us with a unique opportunity to design and implement an expanded exploration program to fully evaluate our internally identified prospects on the acreage. The extension also allows us the ability to have a multi-faceted future drilling program, including development drilling at Cascadura, Royston and Coho as well as further exploration prospects on the licence. Touchstone Exploration has proven that Ortoire is a resource-rich property, and we are excited to explore further prospects to potentially feed into our current infrastructure currently in construction. We would like to thank the MEEI for its continued support, and we welcome a further opportunity to partner and grow onshore Trinidad oil and natural gas production.”