Savannah Petroleum’s subsidiary Savannah Niger has signed a legally binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Republic of Niger, the company said on Aug. 8.

The MOU affirms both parties’ commitment to the realization of a proposed early production scheme (EPS) utilizing crude oil resources associated with Savannah’s recent discoveries in the R3 portion of the R3/R4 production-sharing contract area in the Agadem Rift Basin (ARB) of South East Niger. The MOU further binds both parties to work together towards the realization of the EPS and contains specific provisions relating to the actions each party undertakes to conduct as well as setting out the key timelines associated with the project.

The EPS is intended to be domestic focused, with oil produced from Savannah Niger’s R3 area discoveries expected to be sold at the Société de Raffinage de Zinder (SORAZ) refinery, which is connected to the ARB via the third party owned 463 km (287 miles) Agadem-Zinder crude oil transportation pipeline.

As part of the MOU, the Republic of Niger has confirmed its intention to facilitate the conclusion of a crude oil marketing agreement between Savannah Niger and SORAZ; facilitate the conclusion of an infrastructure access agreement between Savannah Niger and the owner of third party crude oil processing and transportation infrastructure—subject to confirmation of the compatibility of the proposed crude oil Savannah Niger intends to include in the EPS and those crude oils currently being processed and transported though this infrastructure.

As part of the MOU, Savannah has undertaken to submit a pre-feasibility study to the Republic of Niger within 90 days of the signature of the MOU in relation to the discovered crude oil resources in the R3 area anticipated to be included in the EPS; submit an application to the Republic of Niger for the issuance of an exclusive exploitation authorization within 90 days of finalization of commercial documentation between Savannah Niger, SORAZ and the third-party infrastructure owner.

Savannah intends to announce further details in relation to the EPS and the company’s planned well testing campaign in due course.