PAN-AFRICAN explorer Oranto Petroleum yesterday signed an agreement to farm into two exploration blocks in Zambia.
Blocks 17 and 27 represent Oranto’s first investment in the country. Under the agreement signed yesterday, Oranto Petroleum will hold a 90 per cent stake and ZCCM Investment Holdings will control 10 per cent shares on behalf of the Zambian government.
The company will be required to conduct geological and geophysical studies the for first two-year sub-periods, according to a statement by Oranto Petroleum Ltd distributed through APO Group.
“Oranto Petroleum is committed to an aggressive work programme to increase the level of prospectivity in one of the world’s last true frontier markets,” said Prince Aurthe Eze, chairman of Oranto Petroleum.
“Our specialty at Oranto Petroleum is discovering the vast potential of Africa’s frontier oil and gas markets, and we are very pleased to add Zambia to our extensive portfolio. We are committed to developing Zambia into an oil and gas producing nation, as we have many times with other countries on the continent.”
Oranto Petroleum and its sister company Atlas Petroleum International comprise the largest African independent [footprint] by acreage, with active exploration and production programmes across Africa, including Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, South Sudan and Uganda.
Current operators in Zambia include Tullow Oil and Bowleven though only marginal finds have been discovered in the under-explored market shares basins with Tanzania to the northeast and Angola to the west – both of which have hosted mega oil and gas discoveries.
Atlas Petroleum International and Oranto Petroleum represent Africa’s largest privately-held exploration and production group, with extensive footprint across the continent including 22 oil and gas licenses in 11 jurisdictions.