Tullow Oil remains committed to maintaining a presence in frontier exploration acreage offshore South America, but will reduce its exposure by bringing in partners, according to chief executive Rahul Dhir.

This exploration strategy calls into question why a similar approach was not taken last year for a promising offshore block in Namibia’s Orange basin that Tullow decided to exit just weeks before Shell and TotalEnergies announced their major Venus and Graff oil discoveries.

The Orange basin is now the world’s hottest exploration play and Tullow could have had its pick of potential partners drawn to the acreage’s adjacency to TotalEnergies’ licence and done so at little or no extra cost.