(Adds CNOOC declined to comment in 5th paragraph)
MELBOURNE, March 31 China's CNOOC Ltd
has agreed to team up with Australian minnow FAR Ltd to
look for oil and gas prospects in what is seen as a promising
frontier off Senegal and Gambia over the next two years, FAR
said on Friday.
FAR is already active in Senegal, where it is working with
Woodside Petroleum and Cairn Energy to develop
a deepwater oil field and this week bought an 80 percent stake
in blocks off Gambia, just south of the Senegal acreage, from
U.S. firm Erin Energy Corp.
"The partnership and AMI (Area of Mutual Interest agreement)
with CNOOC UK dramatically enhances FAR's ability to acquire new
assets in our core strategic geographic area of expertise," FAR
Managing Director Cath Norman said in a statement.
FAR plans to sell part of its 80 percent stake in the
Gambian acreage over the next 18 months to help cover the $25
million to $30 million it will need to fund an exploration well
there in late 2018, Norman said on the company's web site.
An external spokeswoman for CNOOC declined to comment.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)