LONDON, July 21 (UPI) -- British explorer Sterling Energy said Tuesday it signed an agreement with Exxon Mobil for licenses on the Ambilobe and Ampasindava fields offshore Madagascar.
"The signing of this deal with a partner such as Exxon, with (its) extensive existing interests in Madagascar, reflects the potential of this acreage," Sterling's Chief Executive Harry Wilson said.
In July 20, Madagascar awarded Sterling 100 percent interest and is the operator of the two licenses, which cover approximately 13,100 square miles. Under the agreement, Exxon Mobil will pay for the exploration in return for a 70 percent interest in both licenses.
Exxon Mobil plans to commit to two exploration phases covering technical and 2-D seismic studies. If successful, the company will determine whether to finance 3-D seismic studies and drill up to two wells per license. Madagascar's government must first approve the transaction.
Madagascar has recently seen an increase in exploration activity, most of which is conduced by Exxon Mobil.