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Woodside Pursues 56% Stake in Namibian Offshore Block

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Petroleum exploration and production company, Woodside Energy, has entered into an exclusive option with oil and gas exploration company, Pancontinental Energy, to acquire a 56% participating interest in Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) 87, offshore Namibia.

The agreement will offer Woodside Energy the option to acquire the interest in consideration for paying the cost for a 3D-seismic survey – covering a minimum area of 5,000km2 – within the license at an estimated cost of $35 million.

According to the agreement, Woodside Energy will have a period of 180 days following the delivery of the seismic survey data to exercise the option, which will see the two exploration companies enter a farmout agreement whereby Woodside Energy will carry Pancontinental Energy during the drilling of the license area’s first exploration well. With the seismic survey poised to start in March 2023, the fast-tracked processed results are expected by June this year.

“Energy giants are jockeying for position after major oil discoveries by Shell and TotalEnergies offshore Namibia,” stated Pancontinental Non-Executive Director and Technical Director, Barry Rushworth, adding, “On-trend, Pancontinental’s PEL 87 has very high potential, with contiguous geology to the discoveries.”

“We are pleased to confirm further progress on attracting capital and world class partners to our portfolio of assets in the Orange Basin. The success in executing our strategy speaks to the quality of our portfolio and the continuing emergence of the Orange Basin as the world’s next great hydrocarbon province,” stated Robert Bose President and Director of Sintana, adding, “We expect significant additional activity on our blocks and those around us over the next 12 to 18 months that will further demonstrate the scale, scope, and potential of our portfolio.”

Pancontinental Energy is the operator of PEL 87, owning a 75% interest license, alongside international investment firm, Custos Investments, who own 15% – through which oil and gas exploration company, Sintana Energy, owns an indirect minority interest at 7.4% –, while the remaining 10% is held by Namibia’s National Oil Company, the National Petroleum Corporation (Namcor). Covering an area of 10,970km2, PEL 87 holds the immense Saturn turbidite complex, and is on trend with recent major oil discoveries in the Orange Basin including oil and gas supermajor, TotalEnergies’ Venus-1 and Shell’s Graff-1, La Rona-1 and Jonker-1.

Meanwhile, Pancontinental Energy has entered into an option agreement – pending the decision by Woodside Energy to exercise its option – to acquire a 1% interest from Custos Investments at a cost of $1 million to ensure the company retains a minimum 20% interest in the project.

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Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen is a Video Editor and Content Writer at Energy Capital & Power. He holds an Honours Degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town and is currently undergoing his Masters Degree. Born in Pretoria and raised internationally, he has been living in Cape Town since 2013.

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