Dubai's Dragon Oil weighs bid for Cameroon-focused Bowleven

Dragon Oil Plc, controlled by Dubai's state-owned Emirates National Oil Company, is weighing a bid for Bowleven Plc, a Cameroon-focused oil explorer that is currently valued at around £355 million ($562 million).

Edinburgh-based Bowleven is an oil and gas exploration company holding five onshore and offshore blocks in Cameroon, none of which have been developed to date.

It holds a 75-per cent stake in the Etinde Permit area shallow water blocks in offshore Cameroon, West Africa. The blocks are spread across 2,300kms across the Rio del Rey and Douala basins.

It also holds a 100-per cent stake in the Bomono Permit, onshore Cameroon, and a 100 per cent stake in both the East Orovinyare offshore block in Gabon, which contains an existing oil discovery that it is seeking to develop, and the Epaemeno Block which in onshore Gabon.

Post discovery of oil in October 2011 in the Sapele-3 well in the Douala Basin at the Etinde permit in Cameroon, Bowleven raised $124 million in a share sale to fund a drilling program this year.

Bowleven held cash of $160 million at the end of last year following the divesture of its Gabon assets and the $124 million raised in the share sale, but the company requires to invest at least $400 million in order to pump first oil and gas in 2015, according to its CEO, Kevin Hart,