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Just over a month after announcing an acquisition deal for oil blocks in Kenya, Qatar Petroleum (QP) has entered into agreements with energy giant, Total, for a share of exploration and production rights in two blocks offshore the Republic of Namibia.

Subject to customary regulatory approvals by the government of Namibia and approvals by the partners in the blocks, the agreements will see QP hold a 30 percent participating interest in Block 2913B, with Total (the Operator) holding a 40 percent participating interest. Other partners in the block include Impact Oil (20 percent), and Namcor (10 percent).

Also under the agreements, QP will hold a 28.33 percent participating interest in Block 2912, with Total (the Operator) holding a 37.78 percent participating interest. Impact Oil has a 18.89 percent stake and Namcor holds 15 percent. The first exploration well is scheduled to be drilled in the first half of next year.

As noted by the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, and President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum, His Excellency Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, working on the identified frontier blocks in Namibia is central to QP’s international growth and expansion strategy.

“We are pleased to expand our global exploration activities into Namibia, which further strengthens our presence in Africa. Working on these prospective frontier blocks with our valuable long-term partner, Total, will give another boost to our efforts towards implementing our international growth strategy,” Minister Al-Kaabi said.

In a similar fashion, Qatar Petroleum last month revealed that it was entering Kenya’s oil exploration scene after reaching an agreement to purchase a participating interest in oil blocks in the East African country.

The state-run petroleum company said it had acquired a 25 percent stake (13.75 percent from Eni and 11.25 percent from Total) in three blocks located in the offshore Lamu Basin. Also, the deal was subject to customary regulatory approvals by the government of Kenya.

The blocks (L11A, L11B and L12) are situated in what is considered to be a frontier and largely unexplored area and have a total area of approximately 15,000 square kilometers, with water depths ranging from about 1000 meters to 3,000 meters.

Following the deal, the partners comprising the consortium would consist of affiliates from Eni (the operator) with a 41.25 percent stake in the block, Total’s with 33.75 percent and Qatar Petroleum with a 25 percent participating interest. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Al-Kaabi at the time expressed Qatar Petroleum’s hope that the exploration efforts are successful, as they look forward to collaborating with partners Eni and Total, and the government of Kenya in the exploration.

“In line with its growth strategy, this opportunity strengthens Qatar Petroleum’s position in the exploration of frontier basins with significant hydrocarbon resource potential,” the minister said in July.

With the acquisition of Kenya’s offshore blocks, Qatar Petroleum joins a growing list of global corporations seeking to exploit huge fuel deposits believed to be underneath the Indian Ocean seabed.

Moreover, the Qatari firm’s announcement signaled the lifting of a ban on the issuance of new exploration licenses which Kenya introduced in 2016. The move was linked to a major drop in oil prices that resulted in low levels of investments in the industry.

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