Australia-based Pancontinental Oil & Gas has secured exploration rights for an offshore block in Namibia, located in the Orange Basin.

The company has signed a petroleum agreement (PA) with the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia and Namibian partners for Block 2713 that spans across an area of 10,947km2.

Pancontinental, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Pancontinental Orange, will be operator of the block with a 75% interest. It will be partnered in the offshore block by Custos Investments which will have a stake of 15% and National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) which will hold the remaining 10% stake.

According to Pancontinental, Block 2713 is highly prospective for oil. The block is believed to have high quality mature oil source rocks with a likelihood of having very large oil traps.

Pancontinental adds that the new license area it has acquired is in a region where high-capacity oil prospects like large turbidites have been identified.

Pancontinental CEO John Begg said: “Namibia offers a stable, pragmatic and complementary fiscal regime with the potential for large oil traps and high quality reservoirs.

“Our mapping already shows leads in play trends with very large oil volume potential. So we have taken a majority, 75% operated position in the new project with cost exposure within our capabilities.

“Further, we plan to apply our proven skills to bring the oil potential of this project into an up-to-date context that is attractive to wider industry investment.”

Pancontinental says that the block has an initial period of four years, and that it has plans to carry out an innovative exploration program in it.

Block 2713 is the second exploration block secured by the Australian firm in offshore Namibia. The other block where it has stake is PEL 37 which is operated by Tullow with ONGC Videsh and African Energy as the other partners.

Pancontinental’s participation in PEL 37 comes through its joint venture Pancontinental Namibia with Africa Energy. Pancontinental Namibia, which is owned 66.67% by Pancontinental, holds a stake of 30% in PEL 37.

Last month, the PEL 37 joint venture featuring Tullow (35%), ONGC Videsh (30%), Paragon Oil & Gas (5%) and Pancontinental Namibia had voted to drill the Cormorant Prospect in the license located in the Walvis Basin.

Image: Map showing the newly awarded license block of Pancontinental. Photo: courtesy of Pancontinental Oil & Gas NL.