April 25, 2019 / 12:33 PM / a year ago

ExxonMobil increases its exploration acreage offshore Namibia

WINDHOEK, April 25 (Reuters) - ExxonMobil Corp said on Thursday it plans to increase its exploration acreage offshore Namibia this year, including acquisition of seismic data and analysis.

Namibia has in recent years attracted interest from oil and gas companies keen to explore its offshore potential, which has been likened to Brazil’s prolific Santos basin.

ExxonMobil signed an agreement with the state-owned National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) for the addition of about 28,000 square km for exploration by the U.S. oil and gas giant.

“These agreements provide ExxonMobil with an opportunity to explore for hydrocarbons using advanced technology in the frontier Namibia basin,” Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil said in a statement.

ExxonMobil will operate blocks 1710 and 1810 and hold a 90 percent interest while NAMCOR will hold a 10 percent interest.

As part of the deal, ExxonMobil will assign 5 percent of its interest to a local Namibian company that has yet to be identified.

Last October, Independent oil and Gas Company, Chariot Oil and Gas, became the latest company which failed in its bid to find oil offshore Namibia.

A month earlier, Tullow Oil also announced that its Cormorant-1 exploration well in the PEL-37 licence, offshore Namibia had encountered non-commercial hydrocarbons. (Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa Editing by James Macharia and Alexandra Hudson)

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