The Danish oil and gas company Maersk Oil has agreed to acquire half of Africa Oil Corporation’s shares in three onshore exploration licences in Kenya and a further two in Ethiopia.

According to the company, the licences cover an area of ca. 100,000 square kilometers and include eight recent oil discoveries, with ongoing exploration and appraisal activities. Four of the blocks are operated by Tullow Oil and the remaining by Africa Oil Corporation.

The exploration areas in question cover the Turkana region of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

The value of the deal is split between an upfront farm-in payment of $365m, including exploration costs. Future contingent payments of up to $480m will be made by Maersk Oil for the Lokichar Project, determined by the size of the resource after final appraisal and the agreed timetable for first oil.