Under the deal, the partnership will invest around $400m to develop the exploration areas of 9 and 11a blocks off the South Coast of South Africa.

As per terms of the agreement, Rosgeo will carry out major geological exploration work at the blocks.

The company will involve in around 4,000km² of 3D seismic operations, in addition to 13,000 km of gravity-magnetic exploration works and drilling of exploratory wells.

The project holds a capacity to extract up to four million cubic metres of gas per day, which will be supplied to PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids refinery in Mossel Bay.

Rosgeo CEO Roman Panov said: "The signed agreement is aimed at developing bilateral relations and will strengthen Rosgeo’s presence in the African market.

PetroSA’s interim chairperson Luvo Makas said: “South Africa’s oil & gas potential remains largely unexplored. This exploration effort presents significant upside to both the country and PetroSA.

“The upside for PetroSA is the possible expansion of our depleting gas resources. Discovery of hydrocarbons on our shores has the potential to bring significant revenues to the country and prove the country’s oil and gas prospectivity.”

PetroSA is engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas as well as marketing of petrochemical products to the South African oil companies. It also exports petrochemical products to the international markets.