Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Qatar Petroleum has bought a 25% interest in an oil and gas exploration concession in the Outeniqua Basin, off the southern coast of SA, from multinational Total, the two companies said in a statement on Monday.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Total began drilling for deep-sea oil in this block, called 11B/12B, in 2014, but was forced to stop because it encountered mechanical problems. It said it intended to resume drilling at the end of 2018.

Deep-sea oil exploration is very costly and is made even more difficult by strong currents off SA’s coast. Block 11B/12B is about 19,000km² in extent, with water depths ranging from 200m to 1.8km.

After this deal receives regulatory approval, the ownership of Block 11B/12B will be 45% Total, 25% Qatar Petroleum, 20% CNR International and 10% Main Street.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, said the deal was "an important milestone in our strategy to expand our international upstream footprint".

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