FAR eyes new West African assets with CNOOC pact

Australian oil company FAR has signed an Area of Mutual Interest (AMI) agreement with CNOOC UK Limited, which covers selected licenses offshore Senegal and The Gambia within the designated area.

The Australian oil company informed on Friday that the AMI provides the two companies with agreed arrangements to partner in evaluating, bidding, negotiating and managing joint ventures on farm-in and open acreage opportunities for oil and gas licenses. The AMI agreement period is for two years.

In combination, FAR and CNOOC UK, a subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, bring together expertise of the Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau (MSGB) offshore basin and the capabilities of an international deep water operator, FAR explained.

FAR has 15% interest in the Cairn-operated SNE oil discovery offshore Senegal. In addition, the company earlier this week bought into Erin Energy’s offshore A2 and A5 blocks in The Gambia, which are close to the SNE discovery.

CNOOC, on the other hand, acquired 65% interest and operatorship of a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and associated joint operating agreement in the AGC Profond block located in the offshore joint development zone between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.

FAR further added that this agreement with CNOOC positions FAR to further expand its portfolio and establish itself as one of the major players in the rapidly emerging Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau (MSGB) Basin – a basin that is increasingly attracting the attention of the world’s oil “majors”.

FAR Managing Director, Cath Norman, said: “The partnership and AMI with CNOOC UK dramatically enhances FAR’s ability to acquire new assets in our core strategic geographic area of expertise.

“The complementary skills of both organizations strengthens our collective ability to build acreage positions offshore Senegal and The Gambia. We are very pleased to have secured a strategic partner with the deep technical, operational and financial caliber of CNOOC UK. We look forward to working with CNOOC UK in securing and progressing new opportunities in the region.”

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