HOPES that Namibia might indeed be blessed with a significant oil resource flared up when multi-national oil giant, ExxonMobil announced that it is in the process of increasing the size of its exploration area off the Namibian coast by signing agreements for four new Petroleum Exploration License areas.
The multinational oil and gas corporation said in a statement that it had signed an agreement with the Namibian Government and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) which will add approximately 7 million acres or 28 000 square kilometres in four additional deepwater license blocks.
The agreement signed between ExxonMobil and the Namibian Government is for Blocks 1710 and 1810, and farm-in agreements with NAMCOR for Block 1711 and 1811A.
According to the agreement ExxonMobil will assign five percent of its interest to other Namibian partners and will operate blocks 1710 and 1810 and hold a 90 percent interest while NAMCOR will hold a ten percent interest in the new exploration areas. ExxonMobil will further operate Blocks 1711 and 1811A, and will hold an 85 percent interest with NAMCOR retaining a 15 percent interest.
“These agreements provide ExxonMobil with an opportunity to explore for hydrocarbons using advanced technology in the frontier Namibe basin,” Mike Cousins, Senior Vice President of Exploration and New Ventures at ExxonMobil said.
He added that the company will work in collaboration with NAMCOR in exploring the newly acquired blocks.
ExxonMobil has been operating in Namibia for some time already with a 40 percent stake in petroleum exploration licence (PEL) 82, with the remainder of the interest in the license owned by Galp (40%), NAMCOR (10%) and the other 10% by Custos Investments.
The area covered by the blocks is about 28 000 square kilometres in the Namibe Basin, some 215 kilometres off the Namibian coast
In December last year the multi-national oil giant signed a similar agreement with Angolan oil company Sonangol for exploration work in the same basin.
According to the new agreement signed with the Namibian Government, ExxonMobil will be allowed to explore for oil for the next four years.