OVL acquires 15% stake in Namibian oil block

OVL acquires 15% stake in Namibian oil block

ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, on Tuesday said that it has acquired 15% stake in an oil block in Namibia, however not disclosing the deal amount.

The 15% participating interest in Namibia Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) 30, covering Block 2012A from Tullow Oil of UK, is OVL's second acquisition in the African nation in as many months.

In a statement, OVL said its indirect subsidiary ONGC Videsh Vankorneft (OVVL) has signed binding agreements with Tullow Namibia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tullow Oil, for the stake buy.

Tullow held 25% in the block. Eco Oil and Gas Namibia with 32.5% stake, Azimuth Namibia (32.5%) and National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (10%) are other partners in the licence.

"The licence is currently under First Renewal Exploration Period and the joint venture partners are carrying out data evaluation for identifying a drill prospect," the statement said.

Last month, OVL had acquired 30% in PEL-37, covering three offshore blocks, from Tullow.

Tullow Oil held 65% interest in PEL-37 while Pancontinental Namibia held 30% and the remaining 5% is with Paragon Oil and Gas.

OVL said Eco is the operator of PEL-30 and Tullow shall acquire another 15% participating interest from Eco to assume operatorship.

The acquisition, it said, is subject to regulatory and joint venture partners approval as well as grant of a 12-month extension to the First Renewal Exploration Period by the Namibian regulatory authority.

OVL said the fresh acquisition would strengthen its partnership with Tullow and its other partners and would mark consolidation of interest in Namibian offshore.

"The acquisition is consistent with OVL's strategic objective of adding high-quality exploration and production assets to its existing exploration and production portfolio," the statement added.

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