The exploration pair have formed a 50/50 venture to acquire the stakes in the Kwanza basin’s deep-water blocks 38 and 39.
Genel Energy chief executive Tony Hayward said that the deal “provides a rare opportunity to enter into a low risk, multi-billion barrel resource play”.
He said that the 50/50 deal had allowed Genel Energy “to secure a material interest in the exciting pre-salt play whilst managing our financial exposure to a level appropriate for a company of our size”.
White Rose chief executive Jim Bradley said the deal gave the London-based private entry to a play “where acreage is extremely tightly held and access to opportunities is rare”.
“We have successfully negotiated entry to two blocks with high quality, high volume, low risk, strategic prospects offering the potential for early proof of value and attractive investment returns on success,” he said.
Statoil is to spud a wildcat on the Dilolo prospect during the second quarter on the acreage with the drillship Stena Carron.
While the acreage has yet to see a discovery, the companies said that it held multi-billion barrel prospectivity in a working hydrocarbon system proved up by six nearby finds elsewhere in the basin.
The bulk of the pricetag will go on the 15% stake in Block 39, where the duo will pay Statoil a total of $222 million including a share of past costs and a partial carry on the next well.
For Block 38, the two companies will pay $59 million in back costs to China Sonangol, a joint venture of the Angolan state player and Hong Kong-based New Bright International.
Upon the deal’s completion, Statoil will be operator of Block 38 on a 55% interest with Sonangol on 30% and Genel Energy/White Rose on 15%.
At Block 39, Statoil will be 40% operator with Sonangol on 30%, France’s Total on 15% and the Genel Energy/White Rose venture on 15%.
The two Angolan offshore blocks span around 14,000 square kilometres altogether in water depths of between 1500 metres and 2500 metres.