South West African oil exploration firm Azinam has announced the purchase of a 40% and 51% operating interest in Block 3B/4B and in Nearshore Block 3B/4B offshore South Africa, from Ricocure.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and other conditions.
The oil blocks are located in the Orange Basin, offshore South Africa. Following the transaction, Ricocure will retain remaining 60% and 49% stakes in the blocks.
The licences were previously owned by Ricocure under technical co-operation permits.
Exploration rights applications for both the blocks have been submitted and approvals are expected by the start of next year.
Through the acquisition, Azinam forays into South Africa, and will boost and diversify its West Africa portfolio. The licence areas of these two blocks span an area of 18,530km² in total. Block 3B/4B is located between 120km and 250km offshore South Africa.
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Azinam believes that an expected enhancement in data quality will help it identify the best prospects within the licence.
Azinam managing director Daniel McKeown Daniel McKeown said: “We are delighted to have farmed-in to these licences in what is a transformational acquisition for Azinam, representing an exciting new country entry and both strengthening and diversifying our position in the wider South West African margin.
“This acquisition is directly in line with our strategy to unlock significant value in the region and adds considerable play diversity and scale of prospects.”
Upon completion, Azinam will have one of the largest portfolios offshore South West Africa, totalling 80,530km².
BHP Billiton previously held the Block 3B/4B licence. It acquired a 10,000km² GeoStreamer 3D survey in 2012, which Azinam plans to reprocess.