UK-based oil and gas company Ophir has signed a farm-out agreement with American oil firm Kosmos Energy to provide an exploration licence and 40% non-operated stake in Block EG-24 in Equatorial Guinea.

The deal will see Kosmos pay the cost of a block-wide 3D seismic survey during the first exploration period under the licence.

Kosmos will additionally carry Ophir for the cost of a well if the companies decide to drill one in the licence’s second phase.

Shearwater is responsible for the seismic operations, which will be conducted using the Polar Marquis vessel. The agreement is subject to approval by the Equatorial Guinea government.

Ophir CEO Nick Cooper said: “Kosmos is a logical partner for us in EG-24 as its team have considerable prior experience of the Rio Muni Basin.

“Kosmos is a logical partner for us in EG-24 as its team have considerable prior experience of the Rio Muni Basin.”

“Kosmos now operates the adjacent exploration blocks (W, S & EG-21), as well as retains a 50% interest in Kosmos-Trident Equatorial Guinea, which operates the neighbouring Ceiba and Okume oil fields, which are up-dip from Block EG-24 and can offer infrastructure tie-backs if required.”

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Cooper added that the deal minimises Ophir’s risk capital commitment while boosting the monetisation options that will support its exploration strategy.

This transaction follows another agreement entered by Ophir earlier this month to purchase South East Asian assets from Australian oil and gas company Santos for $205m.

The acquisition covers material-producing assets in Vietnam and Indonesia, along with exploration and appraisal assets in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

This move is said to be in line with Ophir’s strategy to rebalance its production and exploration portfolio.