Durban

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production South Africa plans to begin drilling activities offshore of Durban after signing an agreement with Impact Africa.

The exploration and production affiliate of ExxonMobil has agreed with the African arm of Impact Oil & Gas to acquire a 75% stake in the Tugela South Exploration Right, on the east coast of the country.

The stake will make the oil and gas giant the operator of Tugela South Exploration Right, which extends to 2.8 million acres with water depths of 6,500ft.

The agreement between the two parties also allows Exxon to acquire a 75% stake in future exploration rights in an additional 16 million acres within three offshore areas, whose technical cooperation permits are currently held by Impact Oil & Gas. The water depths of the future permits extend from the coastline to about 9,800ft.

"The agreement between the two parties also allows Exxon to acquire a 75% stake in future exploration rights."

The agreement on the transference of the interest is subject to the approval of the South African Government.

Meanwhile, the company obtained a technical cooperation permit from the country’s government, which provides ExxonMobil Exploration and Production with an exclusive right to study the hydrocarbon potential of the Deepwater Durban Basin for one year.

After one year, the company can apply for further exploration rights in the area, which covers about 12.4 million acres offshore of Durban.

ExxonMobil Exploration Company president, Stephen Greenlee, said the company looks forward to working with Impact and the South African Government to explore oil and gas in this new area.

"We believe South Africa has significant potential and we will continue to look for additional opportunities there," added Greenlee.


Image: Durban Sea in South Africa, where ExxonMobil plans to explore. Photo courtesy of Simisa.