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ExxonMobil (XOM) Expands Acreage Holding Offshore Namibia

Zacks Equity Research
EQT Corp (EQT) posts mixed first-quarter 2019 results on the back of lower operating expenses, partially offset by reduced realized prices.

Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM is expanding presence in the deep waters offshore Namibia. The company has added around 28,000 square kilometers (7 million net acres) of exploration acreage in the frontier region.

The company has inked an agreement with the government of Namibia and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (“NAMCOR”) for blocks 1710 and 1810. It has also signed farm-in agreements with NAMCOR for blocks 1711 and 1811A.

The blocks stretch from the shoreline to about 135 miles (215 kilometers) offshore Namibia in water depths of up to 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). Exploration activities, which include acquisition of seismic data and analysis, are scheduled to commence in 2019.

ExxonMobil will continue as the operator of blocks 1710 and 1810, with a 90% interest. The remaining 10% will be held by NAMCOR. The company will allot 5% of its interest to a local company.

ExxonMobil will also operate blocks 1711 and 1811A, holding an interest of 85%. NAMCOR will own an interest of 15%.

The company also holds a 40% interest in the PEL 82 license offshore Namibia that has a gross acreage of about 2.8 million (11,500 square kilometers).

In another announcement, ExxonMobil hiked dividend by 6.1% to 87 cents per share from the previous level of 82 cents. The dividend is payable on Jun 10, 2019 to shareholders of record on May 13, 2019.

Recently, the company made its 13th oil discovery off the coast of Guyana. It discovered new oil at the Yellowtail-1 well in the prolific Stabroek block, wherein recoverable resource was previously pegged at around 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Notably, the latest discovery at the Yellowtail-1 well marks the fifth find in the Turbot area.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, ExxonMobil carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked players in the energy space are Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation COG, CrossAmerica Partners L.P. CAPL and SEACOR Holdings, Inc CKH. While CrossAmerica Partners sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Cabot Oil & Gas and SEACOR Holdings carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

CrossAmerica Partners is involved in the wholesale distribution of motor fuels, comprising gasoline and diesel fuel. The partnership delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 452.2% in the last four quarters.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Cabot Oil & Gas is an independent oil and gas exploration company with producing properties mainly in the continental U.S. The top line and bottom line for 2019 is expected to inch up 8.1% and 64.7% year over year, respectively.

SEACOR Holdings is a diversified holding company, mainly focused on domestic and international transportation, logistics as well as risk management consultancy. The bottom line for 2019 is expected to inch up 1.7% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 20.5% in the trailing four quarters.

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