Japan-based oil and gas firm Inpex has said it has sold its stake in an offshore block in D. R. Congo, from which it produced oil since 1975. An expected significant decline in production is the reason for the sale, Inpex said.
Inpex has sold its shares in Teikoku Oil (D.R. Congo) Co., Ltd. to Perenco Energies International Limited, thus divesting all its interests in the Offshore D. R. Congo Block which covers a surface area of around 1,000 square kilometers.
Through Teikoku Oil INPEX had previously held a 32.28% stake in the Block where it had been engaged in the development and production of crude oil.
Inpex said it had acquired mining rights to the Block in 1970 and began producing crude oil there in 1975.
"Since then, multiple oil fields were discovered in the Block and underwent development and production activities, which contributed to the sustainable expansion of INPEX’s upstream business," Inpex said.
"The company reached its decision to sell its shares in the operation due to an expected significant decline in productivity, given that more than 45 years have elapsed since the start of production, and a lack of prospects for expanding the operations within the Block and its vicinity from an Inpex Group asset portfolio optimization perspective," Inpex added.
The company did not share details on the current production levels at the shallow-water block nor did it share the financial terms of the sale to Perenco.
Back in 2017, Inpex and its partners reached an agreement with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to extend the duration of the concession agreement for the Offshore D.R. Congo Block (the Block) for a period of 20 years from November 21, 2023 to November 21, 2043.
Partners at the time included Perenco and Chevron. Inpex at the time said that gross production from the ten oil fields in the block had been around 11,000 barrels of crude oil per day.