Survey firm pulls out of Mascarene Plateau oil search deal in area controlled by Seychelles, Mauritius

An agreement to carry out seismic research in the Mascarene Plateau is being reviewed after the company pulled out due to technical reasons, said a top official.
Data was to have been collected by Spectrum Geo, a United Kingdom-based company, to give insight into the oil and gas potential of the plateau, which is jointly managed by Seychelles and Mauritius.
“Following this we need to sit down and with our partners in Mauritius to see the way forward and to try and get another company to carry out the seismic research,” said the special adviser in the Seychelles’ Blue Economy Department, Philippe Michaud.
A five-day meeting is taking place at the Savoy hotel in the northern Mahe district of Beau Vallon this week to review progress made on the framework to sustainably develop the Joint Management Area.
The Joint Management Area is the mechanism of joint jurisdiction between Seychelles and Mauritius over an area of the seabed and its underlying sub-soil in the Mascarene Plateau Region. It excludes the water and living organisms above the shelf.
A treaty was signed in 2012 and the two island nations secured rights to additional seabed covering over 400,000 square kilometres in the Indian Ocean.
The meeting in Seychelles is aimed at establishing the procedures to be done to ensure the smooth implementation of activities within the Joint Management area.
Both sides pursued discussions on future research activities in the joint marine area, where they specifically discussed who will take part in these research expeditions as well as how to effectively share and use the information gained.
In 2018, research was carried out within the area by the Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, a vessel equipped for advanced and multidisciplinary marine research owned by the Norwegian Organisation for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
The legal and administrative issues, as well as the action plan for the strategic plan, are also being discussed.
“With regards to the law that is being designed to govern the area there are some technicalities that need to be sorted out,” said Michaud.
The discussions on the Mascarene Plateau started in 2002. Mauritius and Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, have met 23 times for joint management discussions.  
Source: Seychelles News Agency