The company said that this is a complementary extension to Afren’s existing West African business, enhancing the company’s exposure to the full cycle E&P value chain.

The acquisition has established Afren with a multi-country platform in East Africa, comprising 12 assets across Kenya, Madagascar, the Seychelles and Ethiopia.

Encouragingly all licenses acquired in connection with the acquisition are located in basins with proved working hydrocarbon systems, and importantly offer the potential for large scale oil discoveries.

Net prospective resources attributable to Afren’s interest are estimated to be 1.2 billion barrels.

A multi-well exploration campaign has been defined through to end 2012, and ongoing studies are expected to unlock further prospectivity.

Afren chief executive Osman Shahenshah said that the acquisition of Black Marlin has opened up a new core area of exploration focus for the company, at a time when the region has yielded significant discoveries, yet remains relatively under explored.