Industry Insights

Oranto Petroleum steps into Zambian Oil Blocks

BY PAUL TENTENA

KAMPALA, UGANDA- – Pan-African explorer Oranto Petroleum  has been issued with a license to explore for oil in two exploration blocks located onshore Zambia. Blocks 17 and 27 represent Oranto’s first investment in Zambia.

The Zambia acquisition brings the company’s offshore and onshore investments to over 11 countries across Africa, outside Nigeria.

The Nigerian firm also scooped two production sharing agreements (PSA) and two petroleum exploration, development and production licenses over the Ngassa block in western Uganda in November 2017.

“Oranto Petroleum is committed to an aggressive work program to increase the level of prospectivity in one of the world’s last true frontier markets,” said Prince Aurthe Eze, Chairman of Oranto Petroleum.

“Our specialty at Oranto Petroleum is discovering the vast potential of Africa’s frontier oil and gas markets, and we are very pleased to add Zambia to our extensive portfolio. We are committed to developing Zambia into an oil and gas producing nation, as we have many times with other countries on the continent.”

Under the agreement, signed , Oranto Petroleum will hold a 90 percent stake and ZCCM Investment Holdings will control a 10 percent share, on behalf of the Zambian Government

The agreement requires conducting geological and geophysical studies for first two 2-year sub-periods.

Oranto Petroleum and its sister company Atlas Petroleum International comprise the largest African independent by acreage, with active exploration and production programs across the continent, including Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, South Sudan and Uganda.

Current operators in Zambia include Tullow Oil and Bowleven. Though only marginal finds have been discovered, the under-explored market shares basins with Tanzania to the northeast and Angola to the west — both of which have hosted mega oil and gas discoveries.