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BP Expands in Namibia, Joining Serica’s Offshore Exploration

BP Plc (BP/) is expanding investment in Namibia by buying into Serica Energy Plc (SQZ)’s offshore blocks as explorers seek oil under a layer of salt off the African coast.

BP will take 30 percent of the Namibian license, cover past costs and pay for a 3D seismic survey, London-based Serica said today in a statement. Serica has signed a contract for seismic surveys of the Luderitz Basin blocks, it said separately.

The transaction follows BP’s agreement with Chariot Oil & Gas Ltd. (CHAR) in August to buy into Namibian blocks. Companies are exploring under a salt layer off Africa’s Atlantic shore that may hold 75 billion barrels of resources. Cobalt International Energy Inc. (CIE) said in January it found a 1,180-foot (360-meter) column of oil off the coast of Angola, to the north of Namibia.

“With BP now participating in the exploration effort, we are able to make a very fast start to what is likely to be a considerable and potentially very rewarding exploration program,” Serica Chief Executive Officer Tony Craven Walker said in the statement.

Serica rose 7.7 percent in London trading to 31.5 pence, the highest close since May. BP fell 1.3 percent to 492.75 pence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Swint in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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