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France-based Total acquires 40 pct stake in five offshore blocks in Kenya

Posted by Administrator on January 20, 2012

NAIROBI, Jan 20, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) —

France-based Total has announced its return to Kenya after the acquisition of 40 percent interests in five offshore exploration blocks in the east African nation’s Lamu basin.

Senior Vice President of the Total Group Momar Nguer said during a meeting in Nairobi on Friday with President Mwai Kibaki that the blocks – L5, L7, L11a, L11b and L12 – were previously being operated by Anardarko, a reputable oil and gas company.

“Having failed to make commercial discovery in Kenya in the past, Total has come back after acquiring 40 percent rights in 5 blocks offshore, Lamu basin,” Nguer told Kibaki during the meeting.

Nguer who is in-charge of refining and marketing in Africa and the Middle East, briefed the president on the company’s oil exploration progress in the country.

He said that his company, whose presence in the country span over 50 years, has invested in supply infrastructure, a network of 170 service stations and employed many Kenyans.

Nguer said French petroleum group is also in the process of acquiring 100 percent interests in one of the newly created eight deep water blocks offshore Lamu Basin.

Total in September last year signed agreements to acquire 40 percent interest in five offshore exploration blocks. Subject to the approval of the Kenyan authorities, Total was to acquire 20 percent interest from Anadarko, 5 percent interest from Cove Energy and 15 percent interest from Dynamic Global Advisors.

Post transaction ownership structure of the blocks would be: Anadarko (50 percent, operator), Total (40 percent) and Cove Energy (10 percent).

The blocks are located offshore the Lamu Archipelago in water depths of between 100 and 3,000 meters and covers an area of more than 30,500 sq kms.

A 3,500 sq kms 3D seismic survey is currently underway. If the results are satisfactory, one or more exploration wells will be drilled once the survey has been completed.

Observers say following its recent entry in the exploration and development of reserves in Uganda’s Lake Albert region, and its selection to develop exploration activities in Tanzania, this acquisition is another step in Total’s strategic focus on strengthening its exploration and production presence in East Africa.

Speaking during the meeting, President Kibaki assured the Total Group of companies and other investors of government’s commitment to create an enabling environment to conduct business in the country.

The President commended the company for meeting its tax obligations, thus earning the Kenya Revenue Authority recognition as one of the major tax payers.

Source: http://www.equities.com/news/top-financial-story?val=172136536

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