Azinam has bought into two blocks in South Africa’s offshore Orange Basin, the company announced on September 11. The Seacrest Capital-backed company, which has a number of interests in neighbouring Namibia, said it had acquired a 40% stake in Block 3B/4B and a 51% in the Nearshore Block 3B/4B, from Ricocure.
Azinam’s managing director, Daniel McKeown, said the deal was “a transformational acquisition” for the company, with “an exciting new country entry and both strengthening and diversifying our position in the wider South West African margin”. McKeown went on to say the move into South Africa’s Orange Basin was a “natural expansion” of its Namibian work. “We look forward to working with Ricocure as we identify the best prospects within these licences and bring them towards being drill-ready.” Ricocure will hold the remaining 60% and 49% stakes in the blocks.
The blocks were previously held by Ricocure under technical co-operation permits (TCPs) and applications for exploration rights have been submitted. The statement said it was expected these would be approved by the beginning of 2019.
The blocks cover 18,530 square km. Block 3B/4B was previously held by BHP Billiton, which shot 10,000 square km of GeoStreamer 3D seismic on the area in 2012. Azinam said it intended to reprocess this data, using a similar means to one it has proved on Namibian seismic.
In May, Azinam said it was planning a “multi-well programme” offshore Namibia over the next 24 months, where its licences are focused in the Walvis Basin. The first of these is Prospect S, in Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 71. This well should be spudded following Tullow Oil’s well in PEL 37.
As an early validation of the company’s theories, ExxonMobil struck a deal with Azinam in August, with the US super-major taking a 30% stake in PEL 44.