Tullow buys 50% interest in licences – Irish Times

April 9, 2010

The Irish Times – Friday, September 3, 2010

DUBLIN AND London-listed group Tullow Oil has acquired a 50 per cent interest in a number of licences covering the east African rift basins of Kenya and Ethiopia, an area of 97,000sq km.

The company has signed agreements with Africa Oil to gain the interest in five licences – blocks 10BB, 10A, 12A and 13T in Kenya and the South Omo Block in Ethiopia.

This acquisition expands on the farm-in to Block 10BA from Centric Energy announced last month.

Under the terms of the agreements with Africa Oil, Tullow will reimburse pro-rata past costs in each of these blocks and will carry Africa Oil for future net expenditures up to $23.75 million (€18.5 million).

The east African rift basin acreage shares many geological attributes with Tullow’s Lake Albert rift basin position in Uganda. However, it is approximately 10 times larger.

The acreage, which is located 500km to the east of Lake Albert, has good evidence of a live oil system. The Loperot-1 well, which was drilled in 1992, recovered 29 degree API waxy crude from Miocene sandstones. Seismic programmes are planned for the acreage in 2010 and 2011 and the first wells are expected to be drilled next year.

“We are delighted to be extending our acreage across the prospective east African rift basins of Kenya and Ethiopia,” said Tullow’s exploration director Angus McCoss.

“Rift basins are a core play for Tullow and to date we have discovered and identified resources in excess of 2.5 billion barrels in the Lake Albert rift basin in Uganda. We look forward to working with our new partners and applying our valuable technical insights to this under-explored frontier region of east Africa.”

Tullow has interests in over 85 exploration and production licences across 23 countries in Africa, Europe, South America and south Asia. In Africa, Tullow has production in a number of jurisdictions including Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania and Congo (Brazzaville).