Africa Petroleum said Tuesday it started drilling its Bee Eater-1 well offshore Liberia, about 6 miles from what the company said was a proven high-quality reservoir. Africa Petroleum said the well was meant to test the westward extension of the reservoir.
Africa Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Karl Thompson said there are plans for a "very active exploration program" in Liberia for 2013.
A second well is planned in the offshore region once drillers complete the Bee Eater-1 well. Several potential well locations under construction depend on results of the latest drilling, the company said.
Mean recoverable resources for the Bee Eater area are estimated by the company at more than 840 million barrels of oil.
Liberia is recovering politically and economically from years of civil war. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in a speech sponsored by Chevron in April in Houston, said Liberia was encouraging investments in the oil and natural gas sector.
The Liberian government said more than $16 billion was invested in natural resources such as oil in the past six years.