Maersk Oil acquires interests in new onshore discoveries

Jakob Thomasen

Company confirms new licenses and acreage in Kenya and Ethiopia in agreement with Africa Oil Corporation.

Maersk Oil has agreed to acquire half of Africa Oil Corporation’s shares in three onshore exploration licences in Kenya and a further two in Ethiopia.

The licences cover an area of ca. 100,000 square kilometres and include eight recent oil discoveries, with ongoing exploration and appraisal activities. Four of the blocks are operated by Tullow Oil and the remaining by Africa Oil Corporation.

The exploration areas in question cover the Turkana region of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

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 first oil.

“Maersk Oil is committed to pursuing profitable growth by focusing on expanding within our core geographies. In addition we are rebuilding the exploration business with new acreage positions and pre-development discoveries to balance the risk profile in our portfolio. This agreement with Africa Oil is an example of this,” said Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen.

“As part of the Maersk Group, we are in a position, where we can take advantage of opportunities arising in current market conditions. This investment adds to an already attractive non-operated onshore portfolio for Maersk Oil that includes our 25 year presence in Algeria. This is an important driver of long term value,” Thomasen continued.

The agreement is subject to relevant government approvals in both countries.


Note to editors: 

The transaction includes:

  • 25% interest in exploration licence 10BB in Kenya, partnered with Tullow Oil (operator, 50%) and Africa Oil (25%)
  • 25% interest in exploration licence 10BA in Kenya with Tullow Oil (operator, 50%) and Africa Oil (25%)25% interest in exploration licence 13T in Kenya with Tullow Oil (operator, 50%) and Africa Oil (25%)
  • 25% interest in exploration licence Rift Basin in Ethiopia with Africa Oil (operator, 25%) and Marathon (50%)
  • 15% interest in exploration licence South Omo in Ethiopia with Tullow Oil (operator, 50%), Marathon (20%) and Africa Oil (15%)