Pancontinental Oil and Gas is set in increasing its ownership in Kenya’s offshore L8 Block if American explorer Apache Corp gives up its 50 percent shareholdings. The company said that Apache Corp has not mentioned any plans of selling off its shares in the block.
According to Reuters , Apache Corp was to abandone its search for hydrocarbons in Kenya whichi is the only venture in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Apache has not yet given written notification of its withdrawal to the L8 Joint Venture nor has it given written notice of its resignation as Operator under the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA),” said Barry Rushworth, chief executive officer.
Tullow and the Pancontinental company have 15 percent shareholdings each in Kenya’s offshoreL8 Block; Origin Limited also carries 20 percent of the L8 Block.
Mr Rushworth said that Apache is expected to give the notices but the withdrawal from the JOA requires 60 days’ written notice and resignation as operator requires a 90 days’ notice.
“The L8 Joint Venture will discuss the best way forward and determine the new operator of the Licence after it has been formally notified by Apache of its intention to withdraw. Subject to ministerial consent Pancontinental expects to increase its interest in the L8 licence on a pro-rata basis, at no material cost,” said Mr Rushworth.
Bob Dye, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Apache said that the company had informed the Kenyan government of the move on Sept. 27.
Other companies that own exploration blocks or are prospecting for oil and gas in on the Kenyan coastline include FAR Limited which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
In June this year, FAR Limited and Pancontinental announced that they are seeking to sell part of their exploration rights on a block off the coast of Kenya, to raise funds that will be used in drilling.