Mitsui Takes Stake in Namibian Exploration Licenses


Mitsui & Co., Ltd. has acquired a 15% interest in oil and gas exploration blocks in the Republic of Namibia from BHP Billiton.

The acquired interest in the Exploration Licenses is for the Northern Block (Block 2813A and 2814B) and Southern Block (Block 2914A and adjacent acreage), located approximately 220km southwest off the coast of Namibia. Decisions regarding further exploration for hydrocarbons in the Southern Block will be made after 3D seismic data analysis has been finished.

Mitsui is currently aiming to participate in newly developing projects in the Atlantic market, where demand for energy is expected to grow. It will be the latest energy related acquisition in the region by Mitsui, since it acquired an interest in the Equatorial Guinea LNG Project in 2005, and it will be the first time for a Japanese company to participate in such Exploration Licenses in the Republic of Namibia.

Mitsui hopes to meet growing demand for energy in the Atlantic market by discovering and commercializing energy resources, in cooperation with BHP Billiton, a long time partner in the Australian North West Shelf LNG Project, and The Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (Pty) Ltd., which has vast knowledge and experience in exploring and developing oil and gas related projects in Africa. Through its participation in these Licenses, Mitsui would like to contribute to the further development of the Namibian economy.

Working interest after Mitsui's participation will be BHP Billiton with 755; Mitsui Atlantic Energy BV (an affiliate of Mitsui) 15%; and PetroSa with 10%.