Calima Energy Ltd. has expanded its asset portfolio in Africa through the awarding of a petroleum agreement for offshore Block 2813B, covering an area of 5,344 sq km (2,063 sq miles) in the Orange River Basin of Namibia.

Calima receives 56% interest and operatorship.

The award was made following an application to the relevant authorities representing the Namibia government. The agreement has an initial investment term of four years. During the first year of the initial term the company will undertake an evaluation of the existing data in, an around, the block.

Over the four years of the initial term Calima has committed to acquire 2-D or 3-D seismic data and undertake a detailed prospectivity review. The investment obligations associated with the agreement are within the company’s financial capabilities.

”We are tremendously excited by the exploration potential of this acreage and are delighted to have been able to secure the opportunity at a time of increasing industry interest and activity in the region,” Alan Stein, Calima’s managing director, said. “This offers us participation in a world-class exploration play with only a modest initial investment in new seismic data.”

Calima’s core focus in the short term remains upon the Montney Formation in British Columbia, where the company plans to drill several wells later in the year. This investment in Namibia provides shareholders with an interest in a high-profile emerging hydrocarbon province alongside major oil companies.

Together with Calima’s other portfolio assets in Western Sahara and Comoros, this project has the potential to generate real shareholder value with only modest investment of capital.

Namibia has recently experienced a significant upsurge in industry interest following some encouraging drilling results which demonstrated the presence of thick oil-prone, mature source rocks and high-quality sandstone reservoirs. Over the last six months ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), Total (NYSE: TOT), Tullow, ONGC, Africa Energy Corp. and BW Offshore have all farmed-in to projects offshore Namibia and over the next twelve months at least four deepwater wells are expected to be drilled.

Of direct relevance in supporting the value proposition offered by Block 2813B, Total farmed-in to the acreage immediately south in October 2017 and, over the next 12 months, Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) are reported to be drilling two wells in acreage immediately to the southeast.