(Combines stories from Oslo and London, adds details,
OSLO/LONDON, April 3 London-listed oil company
Genel Energy and a joint venture partner have agreed to
buy 15 percent stakes in two exploratory licences offshore
Angola for $281 million, its first acquisition in Angola.
WRG, a venture owned by Genel and White Rose Energy
Ventures, will acquire a 15 percent stake in Block 38 in the
Kwanza Basin from China Sonangol for $59 million, of which Genel
will pay a net sum of $30 million, and a 15 percent interest in
the adjacent Block 39 from Norway's Statoil for $222
Statoil operates both blocks and has interests in three
other licences in the Kwanza Basin, where so-called pre-salt
geological formations lie. Its exploration chief has said they
hold the potential for discoveries amounting to billions of
barrels of oil.
"This transaction provides a rare opportunity to enter into
a low risk, multi-billion barrel resource play," Genel Chief
Executive Tony Hayward, former head of oil major BP, said in a
For Genel, the Angola stakes will add to existing African
assets including in Morocco, Ivory Cast, Somaliland and
Drilling on Block 39 is expected to commence in the second
quarter, followed by exploration on Block 38, Genel said.
Statoil said it had sold the stake to "share exploration
Angola already contributes 28 percent of Statoil's oil and
gas output outside Norway.
Statoil will retain a 40 percent stake in Block 39. The other
partners are France's Total with 15 percent and
Angolan state oil firm Sonangol with 30 percent.
The Norwegian company will participate in the drilling of
eight wells in the next two to three years in total, it added.
Genel said it planned to pay for the transactions, which are
subject to government and partner approvals, through existing
(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche and Karolin Schaps; editing by