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ExxonMobil to explore offshore South Africa; deal for 75% interest in Tugela South

Exxon Mobil Corporation’s affiliate, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production South Africa Limited, will soon begin exploration activities offshore South Africa.

The ExxonMobil affiliate signed an agreement with Impact Africa Limited (Impact), a subsidiary of Impact Oil & Gas Limited, to acquire a 75% participating interest in the Tugela South Exploration Right and will become operator. Under the agreement, the affiliate also has the right to acquire 75% participating interests in future exploration rights in three offshore areas covered by technical cooperation permits currently held by Impact. These exploration rights and the affiliate’s participating interest in them are subject to South African government approval.

The Impact Oil and ExxonMobil areas offshore South Africa. Source: Petroleum Agency SA. Click to enlarge.

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 affiliate also has executed a technical cooperation permit with the South African government to study the hydrocarbon potential of the Deepwater 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 affiliate can apply to the South African government for an exploration right if it chooses to explore this area further.

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

—Stephen M. Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company

According to Oil and Gas Journal (O&GJ), as cited by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), South Africa had proven oil reserves of 15 million barrels in January 2011, all of which are located offshore southern in the Bredasdorp basin and off the west coast of the country near the border with Namibia. South Africa has no significant crude oil production.

Shell has begun deepwater exploration off the west coast of South Africa.


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