The transaction involves the A5-B block contained in the Angoche basin and the Z5-C and Z5-D blocks in the Zambezi basin, said Qatar Petroleum, which did not disclose the financial terms. According to the company, both the offshore basins are frontier and underexplored.

The two blocks in the Zambezi basin, put together, are spread over an area of 10,200km2 and are contained in water depths in the 200-2,000m range. On the other hand, the Angoche basin is spread over nearly 6,450km2, and is contained in water depths of 1,800-2,500m

Qatar Petroleum said that the deal aligns with its growth strategy, giving it entry into a new country to take part in prospective frontier basins that contain significant hydrocarbon resource potential.

Closing of the deal will be subject to customary regulatory approvals from the Mozambican government.

If approved, the Qatar state-owned company will partner ExxonMobil, the operator with a 50% stake, and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) and Rosneft, which hold stakes of 20% each in the Mozambican exploration blocks.

The three exploration blocks were won by ExxonMobil and Rosneft through their respective subsidiaries – ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Mozambique Offshore and RN-Exploration during Mozambique’s fifth licensing round in October 2015.

Qatar Petroleum president & CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “We are pleased to sign this agreement, with our long-time partner ExxonMobil to participate in exploring these frontier offshore basins in the Republic of Mozambique. This is a milestone for Qatar Petroleum as it marks its first foray into Mozambique’s promising offshore basins.

“We hope that the exploration efforts, which will commence soon, will be successful, and we look forward to collaborating with ExxonMobil, Rosneft and ENH on this opportunity.”

Recently, the state owned petroleum company alongside ExxonMobil was awarded hydrocarbon rights from the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (ANP) for the Tita block located offshore Brazil.

The Tita block, which was won by the duo during Brazil’s 5th pre-salt bid round, will be operated by ExxonMobil with a stake of 64%, with the remaining stake of 36% to be held by Qatar Petroleum.