The deal, which is effective January 1, 2012, has been approved by Yemens oil & minerals ministry, RIL said. The company had announced the sale of its stake in the oil producing block in August, after exiting two oil blocks in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in July.
RIL has been reducing its presence in exploration blocks to focus on producing properties as part of a strategy to restructure its overseas asset base. Block 9, in which RIL had won its interest in 2001 along with Calvalley Petroleum (Cyprus) and Hood Energy, is estimated to hold proven plus probable reserves of 58.6 million barrels of oil. It covers 2,234 sq km in the Hadramau province of Yemen. Calvalley Petroleum is the operator of the block with a 42.50% stake. Medco Yemen Malik now owns a 21.25% participating interest in the production sharing contract (PSC) for the block, while Hood Oil also holds 21.25% and Yemen Oil and Gas (YOGC) owns the remaining 15.00%.
After the sale, RIL is left with stakes in block 34 and 37 in eastern Yemen where it is investing $66 million with partner Hood Energy. It is now left with a portfolio of 10 overseas oil and gas assets including two each in Peru, Yemen, Oman and Colombia, as well as one each in East Timor and Australia.