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Qatar Petroleum to join France's TotalEnergies in three South African exploration blocks

Highlights

QP to acquire stakes in South Outeniqua, DWOB and OBD blocks

QP already operates in 11B/12B block in South Africa

Company is expanding international gas footprint

State-owned Qatar Petroleum said it signed an agreement with France's TotalEnergies to acquire an interest in three South African offshore exploration blocks as the Gulf state seeks to expand its international footprint.

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Under the terms of the agreement that are subject to approval by the South African government, QP will own 25% of the South Outeniqua block, 30% of the DWOB block, and 29.17% of the OBD block, the company said in a July 4 statement.

"These acquisitions represent an excellent addition to our South African regional upstream portfolio, and build upon the positive progress following the recent drilling success in the 11B/12B block," Saad al-Kaabi, Qatar's minister of state for energy affairs, and QP CEO, said in the statement.

QP, the world's biggest LNG producer, has moved in the past few years to expand its overseas footprint and recently stepped up its activity to grow a gas-focused worldwide upstream portfolio.

It has boosted its international presence through a number of overseas upstream and downstream deals in countries including Oman, Mexico, Mozambique, Angola, Kenya, Guyana, the US, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Kenya and Morocco.

Gas discoveries

The South Outeniqua block spans around 49,000 sq km in water depths up to 5,000 m, with TotalEnergies working as operator and holding the remaining 75% stake. The block is located directly south of the 11B/12B block where TotalEnergies, QP and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Main Street Ltd have announced significant gas condensate discoveries in the Brulpadda and Luiperd prospects.

Touted as one of the biggest finds globally in 2020, TotalEnergies' "game-changing" deepwater natural gas and condensate discovery at the Brulpadda prospect was announced in February 2019.

Estimated to hold about 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas and condensate, Brulpadda is South Africa's first major offshore hydrocarbon discovery which has sparked new drilling interest in the region.

The DWOB and OBD blocks cover a combined area of about 53,000 sq km in water depths up to 4,200 m and located in the Orange Basin directly south of Namibian blocks 2912 and 2913B in which QP already holds participating interests, and in close proximity to Blocks 2913A and 2914B, into which QP's entry was recently announced.

The other JV partners in the DWOB block are TotalEnergies (operator) with a 50% stake, and Sezigyn with a 20% interest. In the OBD block the JV partners are TotalEnergies (operator) with a 48.61% stake and Impact with a 22.22% interest.