Pan-African oil and gas exploration and development group Oranto Petroleum has started farming into two exploration blocks located onshore in Zambia.
These blocks are Oranto’s first inroads into the country.
Oranto holds a 90% stake in the two blocks – Block 17 and 27 – and ZCCM Investment Holdings holds a 10% stake, which was approved by the Zambian government.
Oranto is required to conduct geological and geophysical studies for the first two 2-year subperiods.
“Oranto Petroleum is committed to an aggressive work programme to increase the level of prospectivity in one of the world’s last true frontier markets,” says Oranto chairperson Prince Aurthe Eze.
He adds that the company is committed to developing Zambia into an oil and gas producing nation, as it has done in other countries in Africa.
Oranto, together with its sister company Atlas Petroleum, have active exploration and production programmes in countries including Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, South Sudan and Uganda.
Current oil and gas operators in Zambia include Tullow Oil and Bowleven.
Though only marginal finds have been discovered to date, the underexplored market shares basins with Tanzania to the north-east and Angola to the west – both of which have hosted major oil and gas discoveries.