Qatar Petroleum has signed a deal with Shell to come on board two ultra-deepwater exploration blocks offshore Namibia.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to customary approvals, Qatar Petroleum will hold a 45% participating interest in the PEL 39 exploration licence covering Block 2913A and Block 2914B.

The PEL 39 blocks are located offshore Namibia in water depths of about 2500 metres and cover an area of approximately 12,300 square kilometres.

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Shell completed three seismic surveys of PEL 39 between 2014 and 2019. The purpose of the surveys was to identify geological structures below the seabed which might contain oil or gas.

Having analysed the data from the survey, the next step is to drill a well to determine whether oil or gas is present in quantities that could be extracted commercially, noted the Anglo-Dutch supermajor.

Operator Shell will retain an equal 45% interest in PEL 39 while the remaining 10% is held by the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor). Shell last year acquired a package of frontier exploration assets from Kosmos Energy that included the latter's 45% interest in PEL 39, which temporarily increased Shell's stake to 90%.

PEL 39 is Qatar Petroleum’s second exploration licence in Namibia. In August 2019, the company entered into agreements to participate in blocks 2913B and 2912 offshore the African nation.

Expanding exploration footprint

“With this second exploration and production sharing agreement in Namibia, we are pleased to expand our exploration footprint in the country, and to further strengthen our presence in the southern Africa region,” Qatar Petroleum chief executive Saad Sherida al Kaabi said on Tuesday.

“Working on these promising and prospective blocks with our valued long-term partner Shell is another step in our stride towards achieving our international growth strategy.

"We look forward to working together with the Namibian Government, Namcor and Shell on these blocks.”