Ophir Energy has acquired four deepwater production sharing contracts (PSCs) in Indonesia from Niko Resources.

The company will operate the West Papua IV, Aru, Kofiau, and Halmahera-Kofiau concessions, all located in the West Papua and Western Birds Head basins.

The basins have a mix of proven and frontier oil and gas plays.

Ophir is also in the process of acquiring the North Makassar Strait and North Ganal PSCs from Niko. However the company said it will not go ahead with the acquisition of the Obi PSC.

"90% of the country’s cumulative oil and gas production has come from onshore fields but the offshore basins are largely under-explored."

The company plans to commission 2D and 3D seismic acquisition programmes on its new blocks in preparation for drilling in 2016-2017.

Ophir Energy CEO Nick Cooper said: "The addition of these blocks significantly expands Ophir’s exploration portfolio.

"This new acreage demonstrates the key characteristics of our exploration strategy: (i) low entry costs without drilling commitments, (ii) attractive economics at $50 per barrell. These elements support a careful countercyclical investment in exploration at this stage of the commodity cycle."

Indonesia, which is a major producer of oil and gas, was a member of OPEC from 1962 to 2008, until it became a net importer of oil.

Niko said 90% of the country’s cumulative oil and gas production has come from onshore fields but the offshore basins are largely under-explored.