Tullow Oil, an independent oil and gas headquartered in London, has signed a Heads of Agreement with oil company Staatsolie in relation to Block 47, a 2,369sqkm deepwater exploration license offshore Suriname.

The agreement will enable the parties to finalize a production sharing contract for the block and enhance Tullow’s portfolio of exploration acreage in the emerging Suriname-Guyana Basin.

Tullow plans to acquire seismic data during 2011 and anticipates that wells will be drilled as part of the group’s medium-term exploration program in the Equatorial Atlantic region of South America.

Tullow will operate the license with a 100% interest during the exploration phase. Staatsolie, has the option to participate during the development and production phases with a 20% stake.

Angus McCoss, exploration director of Tullow, said: “Tullow is very pleased to have signed this Heads of Agreement with Staatsolie for such an exciting block in the Equatorial Atlantic region of South America.

”The group is seeking to replicate the transformational success achieved with the Jubilee field in Ghana and this new acreage complements our existing positions in Guyana and French Guiana.”