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Exxon Mobil affiliate to acquire 30% stake in block offshore Namibia

AziNam Ltd. announced Aug. 14 that ExxonMobil Namibia (PEL44) Ltd., an affiliate of U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp., has signed an agreement to acquire a 30% stake in Petroleum Exploration License 44, or PEL 44, located offshore Namibia, for an undisclosed amount.

The license is located in the Walvis basin and spans 5,722 square kilometers, with water depths ranging from under 300 meters to more than 2,500 meters.

In announcing the deal, Azinam Managing Director David Sturt touted the basin's "significant petroleum potential" and Namibia's "supportive regulatory regime."

The deal's closure is subject to Namibian government approval and other conditions, after which license operator Etablissements Maurel & Prom S.A. will retain a 42.5% interest. Azinam will retain a 12.5% stake while National Petroleum Corp. of Namibia (Pty.) Ltd., Livingstone Mining, and Frontier Minerals will retain stakes of 8%, 4% and 3%, respectively.

Azinam says that the deal further builds upon industry activity offshore Namibia, citing drilling activity in PEL 37, which is slated to begin during the third quarter. Azinam said the ocean rig Poseidon will begin drilling in PEL 71, in which Azinam holds a 20% interest, in the fourth quarter.