Dana Petroleum said yesterday it was planning to drill its first well off Cameroon after being awarded a production sharing contract by the African country’s government.
The Aberdeen firm is looking to spend about £20million in the country over four years, with drilling planned in 2015, after signing the agreement on the Bakassi West block.
It will see Dana become the operator and 55% equity holder of the block, which is close to the border of Nigeria on the southern margin of the Niger Delta.
Madison Cameroon Oil and Gas has a 35% stake and SoftRock Oil and Gas owns the remaining 10%.
John Downey, Dana’s director of international exploration and new ventures, said work in the region would start almost immediately, with data gathering and geological studies.
The firm is planning a seismic acquisition programme in 2013 and 2014, after which it will drill one or two wells.
Dana said it could then extend its exploration programme by two further periods of two years each, with more seismic acquisition and drilling.
The total minimum investment for all three periods, which would span eight years, would be about £45million.
Dana has said it is investing more than £3.2billion over the next five years to more than double the size of the company.
Mr Downey said: “At the same time we’re focused on creating exploration opportunities by gaining access to new countries and provinces, and using our technical expertise to identify reserves for the future.
“Our entry into Cameroon is an important step on this journey.”
The firm, which was bought by the Korean National Oil Company in 2010, has said it is looking to increase production to more than 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2016.