Simba Energy (LON:SMB) has struck a significant new partnership deal with Indian conglomerate Essel which will see the oil explorer advance its projects in Kenya, Chad and Guinea.
A Dubai based subsidiary of Essel India Group, worth around US$12bn, will take a 60% stake in Simba’s African exploration projects as a result of the deal.
Significantly, Simba will now be carried by Essel for all future exploration costs, including a seismic programme in Kenya which will lead to the company’s first well.
Simba is now ready to proceed to the “next level” as a result of the deal, according to chief executive Robert Dinning.
“We are delighted to enter into this Agreement with the Essel Group which will provide Simba with strong financial, technical, and marketing support to advance development of our properties," Dinning added.
Simba’s Block 2A spans 7,800 square kilometres of north eastern Kenya.
Exploration efforts to date have included technical airborne surveying and passive seismic exploration.
Theses initiative yielded several early stage prospects that may be suitable for exploration drilling in the future, in the meantime new seismic work with Essel would be expected to provide more leads and prospects.
In Guinea, Simba has Blocks 1 and 2 which together comprise 12,000 square kilometres in the Gove basin, on the country’s western coastline. Seep surveying work in 2012 previously unearthed six separate and sizable prospective target areas.
In January Simba told investors it would pursue a passive seismic programme and 2D seismic to advance these targets towards drilling.