Japan’s Inpex has pulled the plug on its investment in a block offshore the Democratic Republic of Congo, selling its stake to operator and sole co-venturer Perenco Energies International.

Inpex said on Wednesday that it had sold all its shares in subsidiary Teikoku Oil (DR Congo), which held a 32.38% participating interest in the Offshore DR Congo block for an undisclosed sum.

Inpex acquired its rights in the block in 1970 and started production five years later.

It said it decided to divest this asset due to "an expected significant decline in productivity" coupled with a lack of prospects for expanding operations within the block.

Perenco will now hold 100% operated equity in the shallow-water block.

Perenco subsidiary Muanda International secured a 20-year extension for the Offshore DR Congo block four years ago. The concession agreement for this block, which hosts 10 producing oilfields, will now expire in 2043.

The first field on the 1000-square-kilometre block, where water depths range from 4 metres to 20 metres, was brought on stream in 1975.

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