Exxon Mobil Corporation, the US oil and gas giant, on Thursday said its South African subsidiary, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production SA, was poised to start exploration activities at offshore South Africa.

ExxonMobil South Africa signed an agreement with Impact Africa (Impact), a subsidiary of Impact Oil & Gas Limited, to acquire a 75 percent participating interest in the Tugela South Exploration Right and will become operator.

In terms of the agreement, the South African unit also has the right to acquire 75 percent participating interests in future exploration rights in three offshore areas covered by technical cooperation permits currently held by Impact.

These exploration rights and the South African units’ participating interest in them are subject to South African government approval.

The Tugela South Exploration Right covers approximately 2.8 million acres offshore Durban on the east coast of South Africa with water depths extending from the coastline to approximately 6.500 feet.

The future exploration rights cover an additional 16 million acres offshore with water depths extending from the coastline to approximately 9.800 feet.

Separately, the ExxonMobil’s South African affiliate also has executed a technical cooperation permit with the South African government to study the hydrocarbon potential of the Deep-water Durban Basin covering approximately 12.4 million acres offshore Durban.

A technical cooperation permit is an exclusive right to study an area for one year. The ExxonMobil South Africa can apply to the South African government for an exploration right if it chooses to explore this area further.

“We look forward to working with Impact and the South African government to explore for oil and gas in this new area for ExxonMobil,” Stephen Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company said.

“We believe South Africa has significant potential and we will continue to look for additional opportunities there.”


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