WOODSIDE has continued to expand its presence overseas, with the company farming in to the prospective Lake Tanganyika basin in western Tanzania.
Woodside informed shareholders via a statement in July that Australian-listed Beach Energy had accepted its offer to acquire a 70 per cent participating interest in the Lake Tanganyika South Block and the respective production sharing agreement.
Under the deal signed between Beach’s subsidiary Beach Petroleum and Woodside, Beach will remain operator throughout the next stage of seismic operations, with Woodside having the option to take over as operator at a later date. The transaction is conditional on Tanzanian government and regulatory approvals.
Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said the farm-in provided an opportunity to secure a large acreage footprint in an exciting and underexplored oil prone frontier basin.
“Securing this highly prospective acreage represents another step forward in building Woodside’s global exploration portfolio,” Mr Coleman said.
While terms of the proposed transaction remain confidential, Beach disclosed that Woodside would reimburse its share of back costs incurred by Beach Petroleum
Woodside will also be required to fund a further round of seismic operations over the next 12 months and contribute to Beach’s share of costs associated with an initial exploration well, should Woodside elect to proceed with the program beyond the seismic operations in which drilling would be undertaken.
Beach managing director Reg Nelson said the farm-out of the asset was in line with its strategy of getting in early to prospective areas.
“Bringing a world class operator into this area such as Woodside will not only ensure Beach is carried to the next phase of exploration, but will also define initial drilling prospects as a result of the further seismic work that will be undertaken,” he said.
The news of Woodside’s entry into Tanzania came less than two weeks after it announced it had finalised an agreement with Chariot Oil & Gas to farm-in to the prospective Doukkala basin offshore north western Morocco.
That deal, sealed in an agreement with London-listed Chario Oil & Gas, will see Woodside acquire an initial 25% stake in the Rabat Deep Offshore permits I-VI.
Woodside said the permit areas complemented its existing permits near the Canary Islands.
The company’s recent spate of global farm-ins also comes hot on the heels of the Australian energy major abandoning a deal which would have given it a stake in the giant Leviathan offshore gas field in the Mediterranean Sea.
Woodside has been actively seeking to bolster its growth prospects over the past year, with moves into Ireland and New Zealand demonstrating its commitment to diversifying away from its current production base of Australian LNG projects.