Africa Oil to become operator of offshore block in South Africa

Azinam Limited, the Seacrest Capital-backed oil & gas exploration company, has completed a farm out of 20 percent participating interest in Block 3B/4B Orange Basin, offshore South Africa, to Africa Oil.

Image: Azinam

Azinam said on Thursday that the Government of South Africa approved the 3B4B farm-in announced in July 2019.

Under the terms of the transaction, Africa Oil acquired a 20 percent participating interest in Block 3B/4B offshore South Africa. Africa Oil will become the operator of the license on behalf of the joint venture partners.

Azinam has retained a 20 percent participating interest post-completion while the remaining partner Ricocure retained its 60 percent stake.

Block 3B/4B is located in the Deep Western Mid-Orange Basin South Africa, extending from around 120 to 250 kilometers offshore.

The block covers an area of 17,581 square kilometers and lies in water depths ranging from 300 to 2,500 meters. Azinam and Africa Oil have 3D seismic data which covers 10,020 square kilometers of the license. This data identified a number of prospects and leads in a variety of play types, similar to those being targeted by oil majors in adjacent and nearby blocks.

During the initial license period of three years, the three partners will carry out a regional subsurface review of existing seismic, geological, and engineering data and may reprocess parts of the existing 3D data in order to high-grade the exploration prospects on the Block.

Azinam also completed the farm-in to Nearshore Block 3B/4B. Under the terms of the transaction, Ricocure retains 49 percent participating interest, while Azinam assumes 51 percent participating interest and assumes the role of operator.

To remind, Azinam acquired a 40 percent interest in Block 3B/4B from Ricocure back in May 2019. At the time, Ricocure retained a 60 percent interest in the offshore block while Azinam also took over the operatorship.

Daniel McKeown, managing director of Azinam, said: “Azinam is delighted to complete this transaction with Africa Oil and welcomes them to the Block 3B/4B partnership and as a direct license holder in South Africa. Partnering with Africa Oil […] brings extra resources, complementary experience and technical expertise to the block’s initial period exploration program.

“2020 is another exciting year offshore South Africa with both the high-potential drilling in 11B/12B off the southern coast of South Africa and at least one, and perhaps two, wells in the Orange Basin […]. The west-coats wells will be drilled offshore Namibia, however, their proximity to the maritime border means these potentially play-opening wells will provide valuable insight to the South Africa Orange Basin, including 3B/4B.

“The discovery of commercial oil and gas deposits offshore Namibia and South Africa in the coming years would have a profound impact on our hosts’ economies, provide additional revenue, employment, secure energy sources to support industry and business and offer an alternative to coal as a primary energy source.”

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