Kevin Hart

Africa-focused oil and gas exploration firm Bowleven has agreed to sell its 50% stake in the Etinde permit, offshore Cameroon, for $250m.

Russian oil firm Lukoil will buy a 37.5% stake in the field while New Age (African Global Energy) will acquire the remaining 12.5%.

The transaction will reduce Bowleven’s interest in the permit from 75% to 25%.

Camop, a subsidiary of NewAge, will become the operator of the permit after completion, enabling Bowleven to focus on its exploration skillset.

The Etinde permit, which lies in shallow water adjacent to the coast, currently features blocks MLHP-5, MLHP-6 and MLHP-7.

Offshore Cameroon is divided into two hydrocarbon provinces, the Rio Del Rey Basin and the Douala Basin, which were formed following rifting between Africa and South America.

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By GlobalData

The permit sits across both basins with block MLHP-7 and part of block MLHP-6 within the Rio Del Rey Basin, and block MLHP-5 and the southern part of block MLHP-6 within the Douala Basin.

Bowleven chief executive Kevin Hart said: "We are extremely proud of the substantial progress that we have made with Etinde in discovering resource and creating markets.

"This transaction endorses the value of Etinde while allowing us ongoing participation in its significant remaining potential."

"With the exploitation authorisation approved and nearing formal award, gas sales discussions well advanced and significantly increased scope for expansion to additional gas offtake solutions, in particular CLNG, we believe now is the right time to bring in a new partner and transfer operatorship.

"Bowleven’s strategy is to focus on our core strengths of exploration and appraisal and enable the conversion of resources to reserves, ensuring that we realise value for shareholders at the appropriate time.

"This transaction endorses the value of Etinde while allowing us ongoing participation in its significant remaining potential."

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval from the Cameroon Government and Bowleven shareholders.

Image: Bowleven chief executive Kevin Hart. Photo: courtesy of Bowleven plc.