China’s Ministry of Commerce has approved Shell’s acquisition of Vancouver-based Verona Development’s majority share of 55 per cent in a 30-year production sharing contract covering the North Shilou block.
Verona maintains a five per cent interest in the venture while China United Coalbed Methane (CUCBM) hold the remaining 40 per cent share.
An appraisal programme, comprising 2D seismic acquisition and the drilling of pilot wells, will start early next year. The exploration period of the contract will end in December 2010; five years of development and a 20-year production period have been specified in the terms of the contract.
The North Shilou block is a 1,015km2 area in the Ordos Basin, China, 150km southeast of the Changbei gas field.