ZCCM IH has m signed an agreement with a Nigerian petroleum firm to explore for oil on two exploration blocks in Zambia.
Blocks 17 and 27 represent Oranto’s first investment in Zambia.
Under the agreement, signed this week, Oranto Petroleum will hold a 90 percent stake and ZCCM Investment Holdings will control a 10 percent share, on behalf of the Zambian Government.
The company will be required to conduct geological and geophysical studies for first two 2-year sub-periods.
Current oil exploration activities in Zambia are done by Tullow Oil and Bowleven.
Zambia does not produce oil, but the government says soil samples sent to European laboratories have shown good traces of crude.
Though only marginal finds have been discovered, the under-explored market shares basins with Tanzania to the northeast and Angola to the west-both of which have hosted mega oil and gas discoveries.
“Oranto Petroleum is committed to an aggressive work programme to increase the levels of prospectivity in one of the world’s last true frontier markets,” it said in a statement.
“Our specialty at Oranto Petroleum is discovering the vast potential of Africa’s frontier oil and gas markets, and we are very pleased to add Zambia to our extensive portfolio. We are committed to developing Zambia into an oil and gas producing nation, as we have many times with other countries on the continent.”