Maersk Oil buys into Kenya, Ethiopia offshore discoveries

Maersk Oil, a wholly owned subsidiary of AP Moller-Maersk AS of Copenhagen, has agreed to acquire interest in three onshore exploration licenses in Kenya and two more in Ethiopia from Africa Oil Corp.

Maersk Oil, a wholly owned subsidiary of AP Moller-Maersk AS of Copenhagen, has agreed to acquire interest in three onshore exploration licenses in Kenya and two more in Ethiopia from Africa Oil Corp.

The licenses cover 100,000 sq km and include eight recent oil discoveries, with ongoing exploration and appraisal activities. Four of the blocks are operated by Tullow Oil PLC and the remaining by Africa Oil. The exploration areas cover the Turkana region of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

In Kenya, Maersk will take 25% interest in exploration licenses 10BB, 10BA, and 13T. Each license is operated by Tullow with 50% interest alongside partner Africa Oil with 25% interest.

In Ethiopia, Maersk will take 25% interest in the Rift basin exploration license, joining operator and 25% interest-holder Africa Oil and 50% interest-holder Marathon Oil Corp.; and 15% interest in the South Omo exploration license, joining operator and 50% interest-holder Tullow, 20% interest-holder Marathon, and 15% interest-holder Africa Oil.

The value of the deal is split between an upfront farm-in payment of $365 million, including exploration costs. Future contingent payments of up to $480 million will be made by Maersk Oil for the Lokichar project, determined by the size of the resource after final appraisal and the agreed timetable for the start of production.

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