Canada’s Africa Oil increases reserve estimates

Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Canada's Africa Oil Corp. increased its estimated resources for its Kenyan and Ethiopian concessions.

Africa Oil Corp. commissioned British accounting firm Gaffney, Cline and Associates to review its East African hydrocarbon concessions. The survey didn't include Somali Puntland oil and natural gas interests, under Horn Petroleum Corp. Africa Oil's 45 percent owned subsidiary.

"Gaffney Cline's independent assessment confirms the enormous resource potential of our enviable East Africa onshore acreage," said Africa Oil's President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Hill.

"We are pleased that the investment to date in our aggressive exploration program has yielded these results showing a considerable increase in the prospective resources assigned to a growing number of leads and prospects."

Hill said that the Ngamia-1 oil discovery has resulted in a "considerable increase" in the geological chance of success assigned to numerous prospects and leads.

"We continue to aggressively explore with three seismic crews active and a continuous drilling program that is expected to have three rigs under contract by the end of 2012," Africa Oil Corp. said in a release. "We expect the next 18 months to be transformational for the company as we will continuously drill high impact exploration targets."

Africa Oil Corp.'s East African holdings exceed 115,000 square miles. Last month Africa Oil Corp. announced its estimate of the amount of potential oil in its Kenyan well has increased by one- third since Kenya announced its first oil discovery in March.

Africa Oil Corp.'s British exploration firm Tullow partner country manager Martin Mbogo said, "The net oil pay logged in Ngamia-1 is more than double that of any of Tullow's east African exploration wells drilled to date," adding that the well's volume of oil has "substantially exceeded expectations."

Recently Kenya and its east African neighbors have become a hot spot for oil and natural gas exploration by international energy firms, spurred by new finds in Kenya's neighbors Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Expanding its activities, Africa Oil Corp. Oil has signed a joint venture to explore for hydrocarbons in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia with Dubai oil exploration firm East Exploration Limited to prospect for oil and natural gas reserves in Kenya's Anza basin, thought to hold reserves extending to southern Sudan.

The agreement allows both firms to jointly explore potential oil fields in Kenya and Ethiopia begin drilling if commercial quantities of oil are found in northern Kenya and in Ethiopia's Ogaden Basin in southern Ethiopia.

In both Ethiopia and Kenya, Africa Oil Corp. has signed contracts for a seismic exploration with Black Marlin Energy Ltd and its parent firm, with Upstream Petroleum Services Ltd.

Black Marlin Chief Executive Jeff Hume, after noting that the oil exploration agreements announced in Nairobi are subject to approvals by the appropriate regulatory authorities from the Ethiopian and Kenyan governments said, "I am very pleased to be able to announce this strategic and exciting transaction and look forward to working very closely with our new partners, Africa Oil and New Age."

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