CAMAC Energy announced Friday that it has been informed that Nigerian Agip Exploration, a subsidiary of Eni SpA, its partner in Nigerian OMLs 120 and 121, has signed a definitive agreement to divest its 40 percent working interest in the OMLs to Allied Energy PLC ("Allied"), an affiliate of the Company's largest shareholder.
According to NAE, the transaction is subject to customary conditions for closing and is expected to conclude during the first quarter of 2012.
CAMAC, a U.S.-based company, has also been informed that following the closing, Allied plans to expedite the development of Oyo Field by drilling two additional production wells commencing in 2012. These two wells are expected to significantly increase oil production over current levels. It is CAMAC's understanding that Allied also intends to accelerate exploration activities in the OMLs to fully exploit potential outside of Oyo Field, independently estimated at up to two billion barrels of unrisked prospective oil resources.
As part of its West African regional growth strategy, CAMAC also announced Friday that it has reached agreement on commercial terms with two national oil companies to acquire three offshore exploration licenses covering three blocks ("license blocks"). Per the agreed terms, CAMAC Energy will be the operator, with majority working interests in each of the license blocks.
The license blocks are located in the highly prospective West African Transform Margin, home to several recent major discoveries in Ghana (Jubilee, Odum) and Sierra Leone (Venus, Mercury) and a core focus area for the Company's expansion efforts. All terms and final award of the license blocks are subject to the final governmental approvals and signing of production sharing contracts, which are expected in the first quarter of 2012. Full details are expected to be released at that time.
Finally, the Company is announcing that it has signed a definitive agreement with the principal shareholders of Avana Petroleum Limited, a private Isle of Man company ("Avana"), that following completion of the transactions contemplated by the agreement will result in the acquisition of 100 percent of the issued share capital of Avana. The total purchase price is US$15 million, payable in shares of the Company's common stock in three tranches, with the first tranche of US$10 million payable upon completion and the second and third tranches of US$2.5 million payable at six-month intervals following completion. The transaction is subject to a number of conditions to closing and is expected to conclude during the first quarter of 2012.
Avana's primary asset is a 25 percent participating interest in an approximately 15,000 km2 (3.7 million acre) shallow water exploration area in the Seychelles Islands operated by its partner East Africa Exploration, a wholly owned subsidiary of Afren Plc ("Afren"). The acreage has been independently estimated to contain 464 million barrels of oil equivalent of gross prospective resources.
Additionally, Avana is finalizing the acquisition of a 10 percent interest in an exploration block offshore Kenya operated by Dominion Petroleum Limited ("Dominion"). The production sharing contract for the 5,110 km2 (1.3 million acre) exploration area was awarded to the partners in May 2011 and final Government approval is expected in the first quarter of 2012.
As part of the transaction, Sam Malin, CEO of Avana Petroleum will join CAMAC Energy as a business development consultant focused on securing additional assets in prospective East African basins.
Chairman and CEO, Kase Lawal, commented "Since assuming the role of CEO earlier this year, I consistently reiterated two primary goals for CAMAC Energy during 2011. The first was to remove uncertainty with regards to our Nigerian OMLs 120 and 121 by defining and accelerating a development and exploration program. The second goal was to expand our asset footprint by acquiring high-impact exploration acreage in emerging frontier basins in Sub-Saharan Africa."
"With today's announcements, we believe we have made significant progress towards both goals. First, we are very pleased that NAE has agreed to sell its interest in the OMLs to Allied, which has subsequently committed to a two well drilling program commencing in 2012. We expect this new clarity to help unlock the value of both our reserves and prospective resources in OMLs 120 and 121. Secondly, we are in the process of acquiring highly sought after assets in the West African Transform Margin and the East Africa offshore region. Each of these areas is considered among the world's most exciting emerging hydrocarbon provinces. These new properties will open a new chapter for CAMAC Energy as an operator with ability to control the pace of exploration and development."
Lawal added, "2011 has been a year of immense challenges and opportunities for CAMAC Energy, and we are pleased to exit the year with very positive momentum towards our goal of creating significant shareholder value. We look forward to updating you further on these developments in early 2012, and most importantly, continuing to execute our vision of building a leading African-focused exploration and production company."
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