Exxon Mobil has signed an agreement with Namibian oil exploration and production company Azinam to acquire 30% stake in Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 44, offshore Namibia.


Image: An offshore oil and gas drilling rig. Photo: courtesy of suwatpo/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Located in the Walvis Basin, the PEL 44 covers an area of 5,722km2, in water depths ranging from less than 300m to over 2,500m.

Under the terms of the deal, which is subject to government approval and other conditions, Exxon Mobil affiliate ExxonMobil Namibia will acquire 30% stake in PEL 44 from Seacrest Capital Group-backed Namibian explorer for undisclosed amount.

Upon completion of the deal, Azinam will have 12.5% interest in the PEL 44 while Maurel and Prom, the license operator, will have 42.5% equity interest. NAMCOR, Livingstone Mining, and Frontier Minerals will have 8%, 4% and 3% stakes respectively.

Azinam managing director David Sturt said: “We are delighted to welcome ExxonMobil onto PEL 44.  To attract such a successful Atlantic Margin explorer of scale provides further support of our technical view of the Walvis Basin and our licence areas.

“Azinam has built a substantial position, with a footprint that extends over 62,000km² of the Walvis Basin, providing a unique data footprint and comprehensive understanding of the region.”

Azinam said that the deal signals increasing industrial activity in Namibia, where India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) recently farmed into PEL 37, and Tullow Oil is planning to spud a well in the third quarter of this year.

In Q4 2018, Azinam plans to use the Ocean Rig Poseidon drilling rig to spud Prospect S in PEL 71, in which the company holds a 20% interest.

Azinam chairman Erik Tiller said: “Since we announced our intention to drill multiple wells offshore Namibia, we have contracted the Ocean Rig Poseidon to drill Prospect S in PEL 71 and now welcome ExxonMobil onto PEL 44.

“We continue to be extremely active in our technical evaluation and in engaging the industry as we seek appropriate strategic partners to join us in the next phases of our licence developments.”