WOODSIDE will acquire a 65 per cent stake in a production sharing contract located offshore the West African nations of Senegal and Guinea-Bissau  under a deal with privately held company Impact Oil & Gas.

The AGC Profond production sharing contract (PSC) covers about 670,000 hectares in the joint development area between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, known as the Zone, in water depths ranging from 1,400 metres to 3,700 metres.

It is located west of the Dome Flore and Dome Gea oil accumulations and to the south of the recent Fan 1 and SNE 1 and 2 oil discoveries of Cairn Energy, ConocoPhillips and Australia-based FAR.

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said the PSC represented an opportunity for Woodside to secure high quality acreage in a focus area of interest.

“This builds on recent acquisitions in Cameroon, Gabon and Morocco and reflects our disciplined and strategic approach to studying regional petroleum systems,” Mr Coleman said.

Woodside will become operator of the project under the deal, with Impact to retain a 20% participating interest and joint government owned entity Enterprise AGC to hold 15% of the PSC.

Completion of the farm-out is subject to conditions including regulatory approvals.

Impact was awarded the licence in October 2014, and acquired about 399,000 hectares of 3D data and 4,933 line kilometres of 2D seismic the next month.

In its announcement, Impact said prospectivity had been identified at various stratigraphic levels, from the Cretaceous deepwater clastics in the west of the licence, to the Jurassic and Cretaceous platform margin plays in the east.

Impact chairman Mike Doherty said the company was delighted to be joined by Woodside in the block.

“We believe that this block has substantial potential as it sits along the fairway that has been proven by the recent success of the Cairn and Kosmos drilling to the north,” he said.

“Impact continues to deliver on its strategy of building an attractive group of exploration assets and securing large independent and major oil companies as partners.”

“The fact that a major company is joining us at this challenging time in our industry demonstrates that majors continue to see value in high potential acreage offshore Africa,” he said.