FORMER BP DRILL ANGOLA
TT. Tony Hayward and Lord Browne of Madingley have teamed up to drill for oil off Angola, in a $281m (£169m) deal that brings the two former BP chief executives together for the first time in seven years.
Mr Hayward's Genel Energy announced on Thursday a deal with White Rose Energy, which is chaired by Lord Browne, to jointly acquire a 15 per cent stake in two oil exploration blocks off the coast of the west African country.
The blocks, operated by Norway's Statoil, are in the Kwanza basin, a so-called "pre-salt" region, which is believed to be analagous to areas offshore Brazil where vast oil discoveries have been made in recent years.
Lord Browne was BP chief executive from 1995 to 2007, when he resigned after it emerged he had lied in the High Court about how he met his former partner Jeff Chevalier.
Mr Hayward succeeded Lord Browne but was forced to resign in 2010 in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
Lord Browne has since backed numerous energy ventures, including UK frackers Cuadrilla, through his private equity firm Riverstone.
Mr Hayward meanwhile formed Genel Energy with financier Nat Rothschild and former Goldman Sachs investment banker Julian Metherell.
Mr Hayward said the Angola deal was a "rare opportunity to enter into a low risk, multi-billion barrel resource play".
"Partnering with White Rose offers us a unique opportunity to secure a material interest in the exciting pre-salt play whilst managing our financial exposure to a level appropriate for a company of our size," he said.
"White Rose brings significant directly relevant technical experience which together with Statoil, a first-class operator with longstanding regional knowledge and relationships, establishes a strong and exciting partnership with which to establish an entry position in Angola."
Mr Hayward's successor, Bob Dudley, has also earmarked Angola as one of the key regions for the oil major, both through production from existing deepwater oil regions and exploration in the pre-salt basin.
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