EXXONMOBIL has signed a new production sharing contract with the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy of Equatorial Guinea for the offshore block EG-06.

Signed in January, but only announced in April, the contract sees ExxonMobil commit to acquiring 75,000 hectares of 3D seismic data and drill at least two wells during a five-year exploration period.

Block EG-06 is located offshore Bioko Island, immediately north of Block R (operated by Ophir Energy) and adjacent to the international border with Nigeria.

The block comprises areas previously known as D-8, D-9, a portion of C-10, a portion of C-11, B-10, and a portion of B-11.

In an announcement, Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy Gabriel Obiang Lima said the ratification of the PSC was a vote of confidence in the nation, where ExxonMobil remains operator of the offshore Block B, near Bioko Island.

ExxonMobil holds a participating interest of 71.25 per cent in that block, while GEPetrol has 23.75% and the Equatorial Guinea government holds the remaining 5%.

The accumulated oil production of the Zafiro field, which Block B covers, exceeded 1 billion barrels in December of 2014.

Mr Obiang Lima said this was proof that his nation remained an appealing jurisdiction for the exploration of hydrocarbons.

“The Ratification of the new PSC signifies the start of a new adventure between old acquaintances and is expected to be as successful as the first one,” he said.