Talisman Energy Inc. announced that a consortium including Talisman Vietnam Limited (30%), Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn Bhd (30%) and PetroVietnam Exploration and Production Company (40%) has been awarded exploration Block 46/02 offshore Vietnam. Petronas Carigali Overseas is the exploration and production subsidiary of Malaysia's state owned Petronas while PetroVietnam Exploration and Production Company is a subsidiary of PetroVietnam, the national oil company of Vietnam. The award is still subject to final approvals by the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and execution of a Petroleum Contract and joint perating arrangement. "We are excited about the oil and gas potential of the area," said Dr. Jim Buckee, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Block 46/02 is located adjacent to our ongoing development in the Malaysia/Vietnam PM-3 Commercial Arrangement Area (PM-3 CAA) and is interpreted to contain an extension to the PM-3 CAA play. The block offers the potential for a number of small field discoveries which can be quickly and economically tied back to the PM-3 CAA facilities. The award of Block 46/02 represents a key step in our strategy to grow our Vietnam/Malaysia business." Block 46/02 has an area of three million acres and is located approximately 100 miles off the southern coast of Vietnam adjacent to the PM-3 CAA block boundary in 120-150 feet of water. A number of oil and gas discoveries were made by the previous operator of the block, which flowed at rates up to 5,500 bbls/d of oil and 26 mmcf/d of low carbon dioxide gas. The consortium's commitment on Block 46/02 includes conducting a three-dimensional seismic survey and a four well exploratory drilling program during the initial three year exploration phase.