VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 9, 2013) - (TSX VENTURE:AOI)(OMX:AOI) Africa Oil Corp. ("Africa Oil" or the "Company") would like to provide the following operational update on its activities in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Drilling operations continue with strong community support in the South Lokichar basin in Northern Kenya which is the site of five consecutive significant oil discoveries by Africa Oil in conjunction with its 50% partner and Operator, Tullow Oil Plc. The Amosing well has spud and is drilling ahead on schedule. It is located 7 kilometers southeast of the Ngamia discovery which had over 200 meters of net pay and is a similar basin bounding fault trap in which has been referred to as the "string of pearls" trend. The well is expected to be completed by the end of January. The rig which recently completed the Agete discovery with at least 100 meters of net oil pay, is being mobilized to the Ewoi prospect and is expected to spud by the end of the year. Ewoi is a large faulted structure updip from the recent Etuko discovery on the Rift Flank portion of the basin. The two lightweight rigs in the basin are currently being rigged up for testing on the Etuko and Ekales discoveries and test results for both are expected early in the first quarter of 2014. The 3D seismic survey over the western flank of the basin is also expected to commence before the end of the year and civils construction on several exploration and appraisal locations has been accelerated to keep pace with the aggressive planned drilling schedule.
In Kenya Block 9, the Africa Oil operated Bahasi well has been drilled to a depth of 2900 meters, encountering metamorphic basement at 2850 meters. A thick section of Tertiary and Cretaceous interbedded sands and shales were encountered with only minor shows of gas throughout the section and the well is being plugged and abandoned. The rig will now move to the Sala location on the northeast flank of the basin to test a large prospect in a separate sub-basin updip from the Bogal well drilled in 2010 which appeared to find a significant gas accumulation and also near the Ndovu well drilled in 1988 which had good shows of oil and gas. This well is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
In the South Omo block in Ethiopia, the Tutule-1 well has reached a total depth of 2101 meters. The well encountered a section similar to the nearby Sabisa-1 well in the upper portion of the well but the sands which appeared to be oil saturated in the Sabisa well were not present on the Tutule horst block feature with multiple volcanic units and shales in this section. There were gas shows in the section which point to a potential hydrocarbon source and the results of these two wells will be analyzed to determine the future exploration program direction in the North Turkana Basin. The OGEC rig will be moved to the Chew Bahir basin to drill the Shimela prospect in the eastern portion of the South Omo permit where new seismic has delineated a number of new prospects and potential source basins. Due to the lengthy move and extensive civil works, this well is not expected to spud until the end of the first quarter of 2014.
In Block 8 in Ethiopia, drilling continues on the El Kuran-3 well with the current depth being 1978 meters. The well has encountered a 1200 meter section of Jurassic Hamenlei carbonates, with some interbedded sands and anhydrite, with wet gas and oil shows throughout the interval, similar to the results of the El Kuran-1 well drilled by Tenneco in 1972. These reservoirs appear to be fairly low porosity and permeability and, as expected, will likely require acid or fracture stimulation to produce at commercial levels. Oil and gas-condensate was recovered from one of sample chambers and is being sent for analysis. At the base of the well, a flow of gas was encountered and the well has been suspended in order to mobilize test equipment to evaluate this zone. A decision has also been taken to deepen the well below the planned target depth to evaluate the deeper Gumboro zone which has significant gas condensate potential. With the recent announcement of a Chinese company entering the basin and potentially providing export infrastructure, the economics of the basin could be vastly improved.
Africa Oil CEO Keith Hill stated, "While we are disappointed that the Bahasi and Tutule wells did not find commercial hydrocarbons, we look forward to aggressively pursuing other exploration opportunities in other sub-basins within these two large blocks and in the other 9 new basins yet to be drilled. The exploration, appraisal and development studies in the proven South Lokichar Basin continue to be our main focus, but we are still confident we will unlock other productive basins on this trend. This fully funded increased level of activity, with a minimum of six rigs working full time for the foreseeable future, should continue to deliver high potential upside value for shareholders in 2014 and beyond."
Africa Oil Corp. is a Canadian oil and gas company with assets in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as Puntland (Somalia) through its 45% equity interest in Horn Petroleum Corporation. Africa Oil's East African holdings are within a world-class exploration play fairway with a total gross land package in this prolific region in excess of 250,000 square kilometers. The East African Rift Basin system is one of the last of the great rift basins to be explored. Five new significant discoveries have been announced in the Northern Kenyan basin in which the Company holds a 50% interest along with operator Tullow Oil plc. The Company is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and on First North at NASDAQ OMX-Stockholm under the symbol "AOI".
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
"Keith C. Hill"
President and CEO
Africa Oil's Certified Advisor on NASDAQ OMX First North is Pareto Securities AB.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made and information contained herein constitute "forward-looking information" (within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation). Such statements and information (together, "forward looking statements") relate to future events or the Company's future performance, business prospects or opportunities. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to estimates of reserves and or resources, future production levels, future capital expenditures and their allocation to exploration and development activities, future drilling and other exploration and development activities, ultimate recovery of reserves or resources and dates by which certain areas will be explored, developed or reach expected operating capacity, that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions of management.
All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Statements concerning proven and probable reserves and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements and reflect conclusions that are based on certain assumptions that the reserves and resources can be economically exploited. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect, "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe" and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable laws. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties relating to, among other things, changes in oil prices, results of exploration and development activities, uninsured risks, regulatory changes, defects in title, availability of materials and equipment, timeliness of government or other regulatory approvals, actual performance of facilities, availability of financing on reasonable terms, availability of third party service providers, equipment and processes relative to specifications and expectations and unanticipated environmental impacts on operations. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.