Austria's OMV to explore oil in Gabon - CNBC Africa

Austria's OMV to explore oil in Gabon

Western Africa

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Oil rig platform. PHOTO: Getty Images

This is how the company is building its presence in sub-Saharan Africa after acquiring an offshore interest in Madagascar earlier this year.

"These projects are the basis for long-term growth in the region," Chief Executive Gerhard Roiss said in a statement.

The company will partner with Ophir Energy, a London-listed exploration company.

With a workforce of around 29,000 employees last year, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is Austria’s largest listed industrial company.

"The first step has been taken with the entry into Madagascar which is now followed by a new exploration venture in Gabon. These projects are the basis for long-term growth in the region.”

The transaction covers a significant interest in a portfolio of high-potential exploration acreage offshore Gabon, a country which has been a significant West African oil producer since the 1960s. 

Jaap Huijskes, OMV Executive Board member responsible for exploration and production said, “OMV will gain in a first step an interest in more than 12,000 km2 exploration acreage in 4 blocks and participate in 3 wells to be drilled in the course of 2014.”

The transaction is still subject to the approval of the Government of Gabon and the joint venture partners.

According to the company, the wells are targeting substantial exploration prospects including subsalt targets. In addition, a comprehensive 3D seismic campaign is planned.

BY LESEGO MOTSHEGWA

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