BP has gained access to an additional five production and deepwater exploration blocks offshore Angola, giving the company a leading position in the country with interests in 32,650 square kilometers over nine blocks. The production sharing agreements for the four new blocks that cover 19, 400 km2 in the Kwanza and Benguela basins, were signed during a recent ceremony in Luanda in the presence of BP group chief Bob Dudley and Manuel Vincente, president of state oil company Sonangol.

BP has also agreed to a farm-in deal Petrobas, the Brazillian national oil company to take a 40% stake in the Benguela basin 4840 km2 Block 26. BP’s Bob Dudley believes that based on obtaining the 69 new licences for exploration in 11 countries, that the past 14 months have been the company’s most successful in exploration in the past decade. He had this to say about the company’s latest endeavours:

“In October, we told the markets we would build on our strengths in exploration and in the deepwater to provide future growth for BP. This new access builds on the major presence we have developed in Angola over the past 10 years, investing a total of $21 billion in the business. We plan to double our global spend on exploration and this huge new acreage gives us more great opportunities. We look forward to working with Sonangol in the Kwanza and Benguela basins.”

A total area of 24,000 km2 in water depths of 200-2500 metres is covered by the five new blocks. BP’s total Angolan acreage has now been increased by 275% with a 50% interest operatorship in Blocks 24 and 19 and non-operating interest in Block 20 of 20% and 15% in Block 25.