ExxonMobil Namibia, an affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corp., has entered an agreement with Namibian explorer Azinam Ltd. to acquire a 30 percent interest in petroleum exploration license (PEL) 44 offshore Namibia, according to a news release.
Azinam, which is backed by the Seacrest Capital Group, will retain a 12.5 percent interest with Maurel and Prom, the license operator, retaining its current 42.5 percent equity interest, Azinam said in the release. Namibian partners NAMCOR, Livingstone Mining and Frontier Minerals would also retain their carried interests of 8 percent, 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
The acquisition is subject to government approval and other conditions.
PEL 44 is located in the Walvis Basin and covers an area of 5,722km2, in water depths ranging from less than 300 metres to over 2,500 metres. In 2016, Azinam acquired a 2,000km² 3D seismic survey. Following interpretation, Azinam acquired an additional 1,160km² of new data. Processing of this data is ongoing.
This transaction further builds upon the increasing industry activity in Namibia, with ONGC recently farming into PEL 37, where the operator, Tullow Oil, is planning to spud a well in Q3 2018. In addition, the operator of the PEL 71 licence partnership, in which Azinam holds a 20% interest, has recently secured the Ocean Rig Poseidon to drill Prospect S in Q4 2018.
“We are delighted to welcome ExxonMobil onto PEL 44. To attract such a successful Atlantic Margin explorer of scale provides further support of our technical view of the Walvis Basin and our licence areas. Azinam has built a substantial position, with a footprint that extends over 62,000km² of the Walvis Basin, providing a unique data footprint and comprehensive understanding of the region.
“The significant petroleum potential we see within the Walvis Basin is complemented by a highly supportive regulatory regime and our talented young dynamic workforce. Soon after our entry into Namibia we took the decision to develop local expertise and are now proud to have an office in Windhoek staffed entirely by Namibians, working on our projects in both Namibia and beyond, in a wider African context.
“We look forward to unlocking the potential of this basin with our partners, NAMCOR, Maurel et Prom, Frontier Minerals and Livingstone as we progress to the next phase of exploration on PEL 44,” David Sturt, Azinam managing director, commented.
Erik Tiller, Azinam Chairman, said he is thrilled that ExxonMobil is joining Azinam as partner in the PEL 44 licence.
“This marks yet another milestone in our activity offshore Namibia. Since we announced our intention to drill multiple wells offshore Namibia, we have contracted the Ocean Rig Poseidon to drill Prospect S in PEL 71 and now welcome ExxonMobil onto PEL 44. We continue to be extremely active in our technical evaluation and in engaging the industry as we seek appropriate strategic partners to join us in the next phases of our licence developments.
“I would like to thank NAMCOR and the Ministry of Mines and Energy for their unceasing support for the efforts of oil companies seeking to open up this new petroleum province. With our unrivalled acreage position and cutting edge technical work, we are perfectly placed to progress activity across our licence areas. I look forward to providing further updates on this activity in due course,” he noted.
This transaction further builds upon the increasing industry activity in Namibia, with ONGC recently farming into PEL 37, where operator Tullow Oil is planning to spud a well in Q3 2018. In addition, the operator of the PEL 71 license partnership, in which Azinam holds a 20% interest, has recently secured the Ocean Rig Poseidon to drill Prospect S in Q4 2018.