Azinam Ltd. has acquired a 40% operating interest in Block 3B/4B and a 51% operating interest in Nearshore Block 3B/4B in the Orange Basin, offshore South Africa, with Ricocure Pty Ltd. on Sept. 11, retaining 60% and 49% in the blocks respectively.

The acquisition is subject to government approval and other conditions. The licenses were previously held by Ricocure under technical co-operation permits. The exploration right applications have already been submitted for both Block 3B/4B and Nearshore Block 3B/4B. The partners anticipate this application to be completed and approved by the beginning of 2019.

The acquisition marks a new country entry for Azinam and will significantly strengthen and diversify Azinam’s West Africa portfolio along this highly prospective part of the Atlantic margin. The license areas of the two blocks cover 18,530 sq km (7,154 sq miles) in aggregate with Block 3B/4B located between 120 km to 250 km offshore South Africa. The Block 3B/4B license was previously held by BHP Billiton (NYSE: BBL) who acquired a 10,000 sq km GeoStreamer 3-D survey in 2012 which Azinam plans to reprocess. The expected improvement in data quality will help identify the best prospects within the license. This approach has already been proven on data sets of similar vintage offshore Namibia.

Following completion of the acquisition, Azinam will have one of the largest portfolios offshore South West Africa—totaling 80,530 sq km—possessing world class prospects within attractive fiscal regimes and benign operating environments. Azinam recently announced its intention to drill several exploration wells in the next 24 months. In addition to assessing the acreage held by Azinam in the Walvis Basin, the drilling campaign is expected to expand to test this newly acquired acreage.