Private equity-backed Mazarine Energy is seeking to sell up to half of its stakes in its Tunisian oil exploration licenses to accelerate their development, its CEO told Reuters.
Mazarine, backed by Carlyle Group CG.O since 2016, currently produces 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Tunisia and plans to drill two new wells there in 2021, said Chief Executive Edward van Kersbergen.
After reducing its operation costs in recent months to withstand oil prices of about $40 a barrel, Mazarine now wants to bring in a partner to shoulder costs and expand its activity in the North African country.
“Tunisia just needs more activity,” van Kersbergen said. “We want to fast track, to accelerate. That’s the reason why we are going out to the market to find a partner.”
Mazarine, one of the largest licence holders in Tunisia, is looking to sell up to half of its stakes in the Ghrib, SMG-1, Zaafrane and Douret concessions, van Kersbergen said.
“We see a multitude of prospects,” he said.
“In Tunisia it is very much a matter of drilling a large amount of relatively small prospects. In order to be successful you need to maintain a very active programme.”
The company this year launched a seismic survey over 900 square km covering the eastern part of the Zaafrane permit and western part of the Douret permit, van Kersbergen said.
Mazarine also has operations in Romania and is exploring opportunities to enter other countries, he added.