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SacOil secures Malawi petroleum prospecting licence

SacOil secures Malawi petroleum prospecting licence

THE Malawian government has awarded listed upstream oil and gas company SacOil a 100% equity interest and operator status in Block 1 in Malawi, the company said on Thursday.

Following due process and intensive negotiations between SacOil and the Malawian government, the prospecting licence was awarded to SacOil on Wednesday, SacOil said. Malawi Mining Minister John Bande signed the licence.

Block 1 is located in the northwestern part of Malawi and borders Tanzania to the north and Zambia to the west. At 12,265km² in size, Block 1 is the second-largest petroleum exploration licence demarcated in Malawi, SacOil said.

“The licence is located on trend with the East African rift system, which is a proven exploration province with prolific oil discoveries in Sudan, Chad, Kenya and Uganda. It is anticipated that the same Tertiary rift system will be present in Malawi,” SacOil said.

The term of the exploration licence is divided into an initial four-year period followed by two subsequent three-year renewal periods.

During the initial four-year period, it was envisaged that desktop studies and the acquisition of gravity and magnetic data would take place to evaluate the petroleum potential of the block, SacOil said.

The financial obligation on SacOil for the initial four-year period was a total of $2m, the company said.

“We are delighted at the award of the licence; it represents our firm commitment to grow our asset base on the African continent and drive shareholder value. This is in line with SacOil’s strategy of building and developing a uniquely African portfolio. In addition, it gives effect to our drive to unlock underexplored regions in Africa,” SacOil CEO Robin Vela said on Thursday.

SacOil, which is listed on the JSE and the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market, said it was evaluating opportunities to secure new acreage in established and prolific African hydrocarbon basins.

The company owned an effective 12.5% of an oil block in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The block, also known as Block III, is situated in Albertine Graben in the eastern part of Congo, on the Ugandan border.

SacOil’s other assets are 20% stakes in two blocks in Nigeria — OPL 281 and OPL 233.

SacOil last week announced the appointment of Roger Rees as finance director with immediate effect.

Source: BusinessDay


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